When it all goes wrong: lessons from Jeeran, Part 1

Khaled Talhouni


February 13, 2023






Before moving over to the investing side, Arzan.vc's Laith Zraikat was the cofounder of Jeeran.com along along with Omar Koudsi. Jeeran, founded in 2000, was one of MENA's earliest and at some stage most trafficked and valuable digital businesses in the region. The company started out as a free hosting platform and eventually evolved into a regional blogging platform and then after an additional pivot, into a reviews site which ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.

I met Laith Zraikat early in my career in 2008. At the time, I was an Associate at Accelerator Technology Holdings - the pre-cursor to Silicon Badia a regional VC. Jeeran was one of the earliest companies I got exposed to as a VC and I had, for a brief period, the privilege of working with one of the leading businesses in the region and learning from both founders on scaling a business.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Laith on the history of Jeeran, its development from an idea into a regional powerhouse and then its ultimate unraveling. Laith and I go over the many lessons learned from the Jeeran journey that serve as a cautionary tale to both founders and VCs.

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