We are happy to announce that Yahoo! has acquired a license to Yamli’s technology, to be integrated across a number of its products and services. The deal comes as part of Yahoo! focus on developing solutions tailored for the Middle East and North Africa region (following its acquisition of Maktoob), and will allow the company to further develop the technology and extend it to a wider audience across its network.
Since its launch in 2007 Yamli has empowered Arabic speakers all over the world to easily type Arabic even when they are not used to an Arabic keyboard or don’t have access to one. More than 3.5 Billion words have been typed with Yamli, that’s roughly the equivalent of 12 Million Wikipedia articles, or 70,000 novels
Ahmed Nassef, Vice President and Managing Director, Yahoo! Maktoob, said, “Yamli is a pioneering startup that created a clever solution for a real user need and built it on a robust technology, which remains best in class. By acquiring a license to the technology, we are able to marry it with our capabilities to further develop it and scale it to a wider audience through deep integration with our products and across multiple platforms. When looking at opportunities, we seek innovations that add significant value to our offering, and Yamli, with its technology that brings exeptional accuracy and seamless usability, was a natural fit.”
As a first phase Yahoo! Maktoob has launched “3arrebni” as a standalone destination page and will be integrating in the following months Yamli’s technologies with with Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail in Arabic, Yahoo! Search, forums, news, comments…
The deal will not affect Yamli’s operations as it will continue to operate as is. Yamli’s business model has been shifting from a consumer-based revenue model, focused on advertising, to business to business licensing of its transliteration and other technologies. The Yahoo deal marks a major milestone in that pivot
We decided today to run a little script to see how many words have been typed with Yamli so far, and the result was impressive: 76,645,541, that is roughly equivalent to 255,485 Wikipedia articles ! We are happy that the usage of Yamli has been growing but most importantly are happy to contribute in the expansion of the Arabic content online.
Today, Yamli’s Smart Arabic Keyboard powers a number of sites, such as As7ab and Clipat Maktoob, Ikbis, Annahar, Art-TV and about 200 more sites. Although our focus is on Arabic native speakers Yamli has also been used at some universities to help teach Arabic.
We thank our users again for the support and will continue in building products to empower the Arabic web.