Maktoob chooses Picsearch to power image search

Leading Arabic search engine Araby improved by Picsearch

January 17, 2007

It was announced today that Maktoob, the leading Arabic Internet company in the world, has selected Picsearch to power its image search service for Araby, the largest Arabic speaking search engine in the world. The multi year agreement between Maktoob and Picsearch will provide the foundation for further developments in the field of multimedia search services.

Robert Risberg, Picsearch’s CEO, said “The Arabic speaking world is a fast growing community which Picsearch is looking forward to work closer with. We also value the fact that we are partnering with one of the most prominent Internet companies in the Arabic community.”

The Arabic language is spoken by approximately 296 million people making it the fifth largest language in the world. Today only a small portion of this huge user group, less than ten percent, is using the Internet, but the trend data indicates fast growth among this group. Maktoob has over 4 million registered users and the newly launched search portal Araby.com has over 300 000 unique users every month.

“Partnering with the best service providers in the world is the only way for Maktoob and Araby to keep our position as the most popular Arabic Internet destination in the world.”

Hussam Khoury, president and co-founder of Maktoob, said “Picsearch has the technological leadership in relevancy and family friendliness, which are important features among Arabic users. Partnering with the best service providers in the world is the only way for Maktoob and Araby to keep our position as the most popular Arabic Internet destination in the world.”

Image search has shown a much larger growth than web search during the last year. Picsearch is the second largest image search providers in the world and has over 1.7 billion searchable images. Every month, several million new images are added to the service. Picsearch has, since its inception, strived for relevancy and family friendliness. High relevancy helps the user to find the image they are looking for. Family friendliness allows children to surf in safety as offensive material is filtered out by advanced filtering systems.

About Picsearch
Picsearch AB is a premium provider of image and multimedia search services. The services are market leading in relevancy and family friendliness. Picsearch powers several leading Internet sites as well as its own Internet properties. Picsearch was founded in 2000, is privately held and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. For more information please visit www.picsearch.com.

About Maktoob
Maktoob Group comprises a network of leading online media companies and websites. In addition to the Arab world’s leading portal, Maktoob.com, the Maktoob Group network includes, cashU (www.cashu.com) the electronic payment solution, Souq.com (www.souq.com) auctions and marketplace, Bentelhalal (www.bentelhalal.com) the largest Arabic matrimonial site, Sport4ever (www.sport4ever.com) a popular Arabic sports site and Araby.com (www.araby.com) the first Arabic search engine. In 2005, Abraaj Capital, a leading regional private equity firm, acquired a stake in Maktoob, giving the Maktoob Group the resources to enhance its market share and accelerate its growth plans.

For more information please contact:
Carl Särnstrand, Communications Manager at Picsearch
Tel: +46 73 204 14 79
E-mail: carl.sarnstrand@picsearch.com

Hussam Khoury, President of Maktoob
Tel: +962 6 461 3194 x181
E-mail: hkhoury@maktoob.com

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