(Persia Digest) - Snapp, also known as the Uber of Iran, said its ride-hailing app is generating two million fares a day as young people in Tehran embrace technology in a market that’s off-limits for western investors.

“Snapp Tehran is now larger than any Uber city globally," co-Founder Eyad Alkassar said in a statement. “Reaching this milestone in only three years makes Snapp one of the fastest-growing internet companies in the world.”

The Middle East has been grabbing the attention of international investors in the past two years, with the largest-ever tech deal in the region struck last week as ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. agreed to buy its regional competitor Careem Networks FZ for $3.1 billion. The Middle East and North Africa has seen up to a 50 percent increase in funding year-on-year in startups since 2015, according to Magnitt, a regional data platform for startups.

Read More: Uber, Mastercard Deals Mark Arrival of Mideast Tech Sector

Iran, home to more than 80 million people, remains out of reach to U.S. and European investors after President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in November, forcing Western companies out and hitting Iran’s oil exports and economy.

That’s opened up opportunities for global players from elsewhere.

Backed by South African telecommunication provider MTN Group, Snapp operates in 34 cities across Iran and partners with 1.5 million drivers. Snapp Group, has grown its business into other services, including food and grocery delivery and a travel booking app. It’s one of the two major ride-hailing apps currently operating in Iran, neither of which are foreign owned.

Source: Bloomberg

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