Astra Tech raises US$500m to create new “ultra-platform”
Astra Tech, a UAE-based technology investment and development group headed by Abdallah Abu Sheikh, is raising USD $500 million in investment from strategic investors as the company pushes forward with the launch of its “revolutionary” new app-based ‘ultra-platform’ from the region. The new platform is being specifically designed to address the ‘platform fatigue’ many users are experiencing.
In a statement from the company, this fatigue arises from an oversaturation of platforms that aim, unsuccessfully, to integrate multiple semi-related services into their app’s core offering, resulting in a poor user experience. This is different from the current super-apps in the region.
Abu Sheikh commented, “While super apps aim to integrate multiple semi-related services into their app’s core offering, this is often unsuccessful, resulting in a poor user experience and unfavourable revenue structures for their partners. With the new ‘ultra’ platform, Astra Tech will strip away some of the complexity and focus on providing a seamless, intuitive, and human experience while also supporting suppliers and partners in reaching their commercial objectives.”
The company’s vision is to simplify the way people communicate, shop, pay, and transact. To this end, the first-of-its-kind platform from the Arab region will allow businesses and vendors worldwide to effortlessly connect with customers across a variety of essential everyday services and products, enriching users’ lives with speed and simplicity.
He added, “Given the current economic outlook and the continuous bust of bad unit economic companies and devaluations, investors are finding the “super app rhetoric” nothing more than a false promise of future profitability. It is with this in mind that Astra Tech aims to launch an ‘ultra platform’, an evolution and step up from super apps, with the intention of creating a profitable business model that serves its users.”
The interconnected digital ecosystem that Astra is building will power a plethora of services ranging from bill payments, fintech, government services, pharmacy, healthcare, grocery, retail, communication, travel & much more. It will have multiple touchpoints in users’ daily lives, all simplified by being in one place, rather than requiring multiple apps or programmes to use these services.
Astra will cater to both B2B and B2C sectors as it will be playing a major role in financial and digital inclusion for all its users, partners, and vendors. Its vision is to benefit not only the users of the “ultra” platform who will be transacting across a variety of services but also ensure that partner businesses and vendors that are powering the ecosystem also achieve their commercial ambitions and objectives in a healthy way.
Astra will offer a platform free from links and compound commission structures that burden suppliers and users altogether. It will instead be a platform whose foundation is built on transparency, being user focused & creating value for everyone on its ecosystem.
Abu Shaikh said, “Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be sharing more about Astra Tech, including mergers and acquisitions, which will give further indication as to how the company and development of the ‘ultra’ platform is taking shape.”
Astra Tech’s digitally connected ecosystem is built for scalability and expansion across regions and continents as it develops and grows.