Jordan-Based Streetwear Brand Jobedu Gets Acquired By US-Based Web3 Platform Novajax Jobedu, a Middle East streetwear Arab pop culture lifestyle brand based in Jordan, has been acquired by US-based Web3 platform Novajax for an undisclosed amount.
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Launched in 2007 by high school friends Tamer Al Masri and Michael Makdah, the duo wanted to create a brand that captured the essence of the energy, voice and spirit of Arab culture. With only a US$4,000 budget, the co-founders printed six designs in 600 shirts and started selling it in Amman, Jordan. Since then, the brand has sold its merch through Virgin Megastores in the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, while also participating in regional exhibitions such as the Middle East Film and Comic Con and Dubai International Film Festival.
In 2018, it expanded in the region through franchising in Palestine and Kuwait. Working with designers, illustrators, and international intellectual property (IP) holders, the brand produces their works on high-quality affordable apparel and accessories for retail and distribution across the MENA region and globally through its website. Backed by early-stage VC fund 500 Startups, Jobedu is part of Oasis500's Creative Industries portfolio.
Jobedu's acquisition by Novajax thus comes at an opportune time as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) rise in popularity. According to the release, Jobedu aligns with Novajax's goal to bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds by leveraging blockchain technologies. "NFT technology is just the tech solution we need to further empower Jobedu's creative community collaborations," noted Al Masri, co-founder and Executive Chairman, Jobedu.
Al-Masra believes the partnership will solve one of their rising challenges: "How do [we] build a scalable business model that properly rewards talent, while safeguarding their intellectual property rights?" He explained, "Through NFT technology and smart contracts, Jobedu can seamlessly manage these transactions and empower creatives the way it [was] always intended."
He elaborated that NFT technology was a major factor in driving the partnership: "Personal profile picture (PFP) projects such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, have proved to be a powerhouse in community building and decentralized IP growth. Similarly, the fashion industry has delineated clear use cases for the technology across many labels, such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, etc. As grassroots, community-driven, pop culture fashion brand that works with regional and international designers, Jobedu was the perfect partner for Novajax to bring to the Web3 space."
Founded in 2022, Novajax is a software platform enabling creative entrepreneurs to boost community reach. The company aims to accelerate innovation and transition into decentralized mediums through NFTs, decentralized autonomous organizations, and cryptocurrency. It also recently raised its seed funding round from US and KSA-based venture capital investors and angel investors. Ego's Paradise, Novajax's first profile picture (PFP) NFT project, is an NFT community comprised of 10,000 PFPs hand-drawn by Tamer Al Masri, for entrepreneurs and creatives to share advice, create connections, and support one another toward our individual and shared goals.
Amer Ghanem, co-founder of Novajax, said, "NFTs have the potential to empower creatives, IPs, and communities with seamless compensation and protection through blockchain technologies." He adds, "NFT technologies are developing rapidly with many traditional companies moving to the Web3 ecosystem. Novajax is excited to onboard Jobedu to its family and bring exciting new tech to the MENA region and globally."
As part of the acquisition, Al Masri pointed out that culture and synergy were also pivotal factors in the process, "Given our shared values and vision, both teams integrated seamlessly, and are working together towards the evolution of our products." Following the partnership, Al Masri noted, "The Novajax team has been building the foundation to connect Jobedu to a Web3 ecosystem." Novajax's team will govern creative relations, e-commerce transactions and inherent rewards, whilst Jobedu will continue to scale its fashion e-commerce platform, kicking off with its official entry to Saudi Arabia. "The team is currently working on our first NFT community project, Ego's Paradise, a gated community for global shapers to connect, share and grow," said Al Masri.
And for entrepreneurs considering the acquisition path, Al Masri advised, "Whether they want to go through the acquisition path at all or not, have an acquisition hat at all times and ask the right questions that would drive an acquisition to occur. Odds are the answers to those questions will build a much stronger business altogether. Constantly looking at your business from an acquirer's perspective forces you to see things pragmatically and without bias."