More and more young people in Iran are embracing technology, while foreign investors from the West are shut out of the country’s economy.
“Snapp Tehran is now larger than any Uber city globally,” co-Founder Eyad Alkassar said. “Reaching this milestone in only three years makes Snapp one of the fastest-growing internet companies in the world.”
Recently, one of the largest tech deals ever in the Middle East happened when Uber agreed to buy ride-hailing company Careem Networks for $3.1 billion, a move that illustrated the potential financial opportunities in the region.
Funding in area startups has increased by 50 percent year on year since 2015, according to a study by Magnitt. Iran has a population of 80 million, and because of sanctions put on it by the U.S., it’s a wealth of opportunity for traders and investors in other places around the world.
Snapp is backed by a South African telecommunications provider, and it’s one of two ride-hailing apps in Iran. It operates in 34 cities and has about 1.5 million drivers.
The company plans to expand into other services, like grocery delivery and travel booking.
In other Iran news, Syria and Iran governments have come to an agreement to enable bank transactions between the countries, reported Reuters.
The report, citing officials from both countries, said the idea is to increase trade and investments between Syria and Iran. Syria, noted the report, is looking to Iran to help it rebuild. Reuters reported the agreement is just one of many the two countries reached during a visit to Damascus by Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. Iran’s support has been very important to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the war, Reuters reported.
With Damascus blocked from Western states that sided with the opposition, it has been looking to Iran, China and Russia to help it rebuild. Western restrictions have hurt bank transactions between Iran and Syria, as has Syria’s access to the international financial system. Reuters quoted Jahangiri as saying, “ministers confirmed that bank transactions will take place very soon between the countries.”