Dugun, where we’re investors, is Turkey’s leading online wedding planning marketplace. The website connects couples during their wedding planning process with merchants across categories including wedding venues, organizers, and photographers. 1 out of every 3 couples in Turkey visit Dugun prior to their wedding.
Together with Dugun’s recent expansion into the Middle East under the brand name Zafaf.net, couples and merchants in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Lebanon are now able to enjoy the same service.
Zafaf.net’s initial figures are very promising. Couples already send one fifth as many text-based leads to merchants on Zafaf.net as they do on Dugun. This is despite the fact that Zafaf.net was launched less than a year ago while Dugun has been around since 2007. When you also take into account call-based leads, the difference is much smaller.
The much faster speed at which Zafaf.net is scaling is a great example of how a startup that successfully scales in one country can develop and apply a similar playbook in new countries. Although the specific tactics of scaling in each country need to be adjusted to local market realities, the overall strategy often remains the same.
In the case of Zafaf.net, this strategy consists of listing merchants on the website, using that content to attract organic traffic, complementing it with small trials of paid traffic, and proving to merchants that you’re an important source of customer leads.