Wishing you everyone an awesome 2019! As we say goodbye to 2018, Dtec Ventures brings you a recap of the highlights and news back in December. Scroll down for upcoming events and what’s to come as 2019 kicks off.
- Dtec wins Tech Hub of the Year at the 2018 Enterprise Agility Awards by the Entrepreneur Magazine. Early in November, Dtec bagged the ‘MENA Fintech Accelerator of the Year’ title at the FinX – Excellence in Fintech Awards for 2018.
- Dtec-based and investment portfolio company 360Vuz wins the Mobile App of the Year Awards at the Enterprise Agility Awards.
- Dtec holds its 3rd Emirati Bootcamp in partnership with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Emirates Foundation. Demo day winner “Mnawrah” is a marketplace for instant, personalized, culture-specific e-cards, is awarded with free company setup and desk space at Dtec.
- Dtec’s Corporate Artificial Intelligence Adoption report was launched during the Dtec Forum, in partnership with ArabNet and StartAD. The report predicts that AI will account for 45% of the world economy’s total gain by 2030.
- Intelak graduates 4 startups from its 4th Cohort. They also released their Impact Report showing the total contribution of the principal partners in seed funding and in-kind support (totaling (AED1.6 million), with over 1,000 applications and over 50 workshops organized, as well as their startup success stories.
- UAE Central Bank and Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) to collaborate to issue cryptocurrency accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries.
- Dtec-based investment platform VentureSouq joined forces with Business Incubators and Accelerators Company (BIAC), to launch a new investment services vertical within BIAC to bridge funding gaps of promising startups in KSA.
- Wamda launches WamdaX fellowship programme which provides startups (or “Fellow”) a grant of $16,000 plus in-kind support including mentorship and working space at D3.
INVESTMENTS| MENA-BASED STARTUPS
- Yallacompare (financial comparison site, UAE) – $8 million, Series C, led by STC Ventures & Wamda
- Little Thinking Minds (edtech platform, Jordan) – $1.27 million Series A led by Algebra Ventures
- Tabeeby (social health network, Kuwait) – $770,000 undisclosed round, from Ground One Ventures (UK)
- Ajeer (home services marketplace, KSA) – $500,000 Seed round, from two angel investors
- PlanetPegasus (block-chain based gaming, UAE) – $100,000 Seed, from ArabianChain’s VC arm
- Gathern (chalet booking platform, KSA) – undisclosed amount, Seed round from Inspire Venture, et al
- Inagrab (AI deal assistant, Bahrain) – undisclosed amount, Seed round, led by 500Startups
ACCELERATOR / INCUBATOR
- Egypt-based accelerator Falak and Enara Capital sign MoU to establish investment fund for clean tech startups
- Mohammad Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) launches the MBRIF Accelerator, operated by Ernst & Young on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, and based at Area 2071
- Astrolabs launches coworking space in Riyadh, KSA. They also received incubator license from Saudi Arabian Government Investment Authority (SAGIA), allowing them to help startups expanding to Saudi with expedited licensing procedures & no capital requirements.
- Souq.com opens a 23,000 sq.m. Dubai call centre, expected to create around 600 jobs. The office is the company’s 3rd fulfillment centre.
- Aramex launches Aramex Fleet, a crowdsourced shipping model for last mile delivery for Saudi Nationals
- Emirates NBD launches VAT-based loan solution for SMEs covering home, auto and business loans
- Careem vs Uber:
- Careem launched Careem Bus in Egypt. A day after their announcement, Uber launched Uber Bus, also in Cairo. Less than a month f launching Careem Bus, they quietly launched Tuk-tuks in Cairo.
- Shortly after, Careem launched their food delivery services, Careem NOW in Dubai and Jeddah.
- RTA announced that they will launch a new taxi service with Careem, after receiving bids from 5 other global ride-hailing services (rumored to include Uber).
- Sawari Ventures raises $35M of its $70M fund for startups in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco
- Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) takes insights from their Bahrain FinTech Bay experience in drafting the rules to regulate cryptocurrencies
- Wamda’s second fund of $100 million expected to close in Q2 2019.Fund to be invested in Series A through to Series B, and to reach Africa and Pakistan.
- Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi, announced the launch of its first San Francisco-based VC arm to oversee 3 areas: 1) the Mubadala Ventures Fund 1 of $400 million for early growth stage fund by Mubadala and Softbank, 2) Fund of Funds with $200 million to be invested in emerging and established fund managers and 3) its $15 billion commitment to Softbank’s Vision Fund.
- Arabnet Startup Challenge, Dtec – 14 Jan
- Intelak Cohort 5 Pre-incubation bootcamp, Dtec – 14, 16, 17, 21 Jan
- Prototype Interactive Office Hours (Microsoft), Dtec – 16 Jan
- Fintech Navigator Course by Pearson, Dtec – 19, 26 Jan
- Workshop: “How to create a more balanced and fulfilled life as entrepreneur”, Dtec – 28 Jan
- Step Conference, Dubai Internet City – 13-14 Feb
UPCOMING DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS
- Sheraa Series A Program – 13 Jan
- Startup Grind Accelerator Program – 15 Jan
- WamdaX – 20 Jan
- Step Conference Startup Basecamp – 01 Feb
- MBRIF Accelerator – 07 Feb
ARTICLES WORTH READING
- Arabian Gazette: Seven Gulf Cities That Aspire to Be Tech Hubs
- MENAbytes: A startup journalist’s takeaways from the Slush 2018 Conference