TheNextWeb has reported that Rocket Internet partners with operator MTN will invest $400m in startups in Middle East and Africa. According to the article, the companies are creating two joint ventures: Africa Internet Holding (AIH), announced this week, and Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH), which will function like incubators to create new internet businesses. Read the full story.
Emerging markets are set to play a big role in the growth of the digital market and investments like these are particularly important for digital advertisers. According to the table below from an eMarketer 2013 study, the projected growth rate of digital ad spend as a share of that of total media in the Middle East and African region will exceed all others by 2016 and 2017. Investments like the one Rocket Internet and MTN is a great first step and important one for this growth: it will bring more consumers online, draw more ad dollars from bigger brands, and ultimately bring more investment to IT infrastructure in this developing region.