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This article was published on October 15, 2010

Will Freemium Save From Financial Mismanagement?

Will Freemium Save From Financial Mismanagement?
Ahmad F Al-Shagra
Story by

Ahmad F Al-Shagra

Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer. Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer.

Lemonade which launched back in February of 2010 to provide better financial managing of the everyday’s Arab input, output is quite ironically having some financial turbulance of it’s own, thus invoking the Freemium model as a last resort.

The service aspires to be an extremely stripped down version of US online financial management service has been providing it’s financial management services free of charge we’ve covered earlier here, but it appears that alone isn’t paying the bills.

The service will be providing their existing basic services free of charge, but will start rolling out services over the next 6 months they will be charging a premium for (which is where Freemium gets it’s name from) such as smartphone, iPad apps and interfaces for existing services, and even a shiny new desktop application.


The tough question to ask is whether or not these shiny new toys will be worth paying money for by Msrofi’s 1,000 users, which quite frankly seems highly unlikely. Not to be the pessimist but perhaps the founders would be better off relying on donations, or services that add value rather than simply providing new service interfaces.

Msrofi while easy to use and quite handy lacks many of the most basic functionalities expected in such a service mainly due to weak online financial regulations, hampering Msrofi and other similar services from providing things like online bank account integration.

Of course the same flawed online legal infrastructure allows companies like to operate without a legal framework that insures it’s customers personal and financial details will not be disclosed or shared with 3rd parties, such as the Syrian government which is where the company is based.

Depending on partnerships and ads has been highly warned against in a region where online purchasing power is staggering to find it’s feet but appears to be slowly improving with time.

The founders of Msrofi have come to the same conclusion, expressed in a blog post published on their website earlier this week, meaning that in the next 6 months we’ll see just how well Msrofi handles online financial management in the first person.