GCC Ecosystem News Roundup by Dtec Ventures | October 2018

GCc Ecosystem News roundup, Dtec Venture, STartup news, Funding news, investment news, coworking news, accelerator news, MENA coworking, coworking space, startup hub dubai, startups in dubai, dubai tech, qordoba

Dtec Ventures brings you a roundup of the startup news from the GCC Ecosystem for the month of October 2018:




  • Careem (ride-haling app, UAE) – $200 million, Series F, from existing investors incl. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
  • Wadi (grocery delivery platform, KSA) – $30 million, strategic investment by Majid Al Futtaim
  • Unifonic (cloud communications platform, KSA) – $21 million, Series A, from STV, Raed Ventures, et al
  • Mumzworld (e-commerice, UAE) – $20 million Series B, from Gulf Islamic Investments
  • Blueground (hospitality-tech, UAE) – $12 million, from Jabbar Internet Group, VentureFriends and Endeavor
  • Pure Harvent (agritech, UAE) – $1.5 million from Mohd bin Rashid Innovation Fund
  • Snapbook (photo printing, Kuwait) – $1.5 million, Seed Round, from Faith Capital
  • Training Calendar (learning experience platform, UAE) – $1 million, Seed round, from angels
  • iCommunity (mobile community platform, Egypt) – $600K Seed round, from Algebra Ventures
  • Smart Crowd (real estate crowdfunding platform, UAE) – $600K, Seed round, from Shorooq Investments et.al.
  • HitchHiker (P2P travel social network, Egypt) – $200K, Seed round, from Angels
  • AnaMehani (online services marketplace, Egypt) – undisclosed amount, Seed, from V.P.F. Limited
  • Helpling (household services marketplace, UAE) – undisclosed amount from Tamedia AG
  • Kitopi (smart kitchen network, UAE) – undisclosed amount, Seed round, from CE Ventures and BECO Capital



  • Qordoba (UX content management platform, UAE) – $11.5 million, Series B, from Aspect Ventures et.al
  • Wahed (investing platform, USA) – $8 million, from Cue Ball Capital, BECO and existing investors
  • Fakespot (product review authentication, USA) – undisclosed amount from Faith Capital



Startup directory and investment data platform, Magnitt.com released their Q3 2018 MENA Venture Investment report with the following insights:

  • Amount invested in MENA-based startups in Q3 2018 was roughly on par with Q2 2018, as $82M was invested across 62 deals. Dtec Ventures Portfolio company The Luxury Closet makes it to the Top 5 Deals in the quarter
  • UAE has largest share of startup deals (29%) and investment amount (61%) YTD, with the emergence of the Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian, and Saudi Arabian ecosystems
  • 2018 YTD most active venture capital investors were 500 Startups (28), MEVP (12) Arzan Capital (9) based on number of investments


MENA startup funding Q3, Magnitt report Q3 2018, Deal flow size 2018, Deal Flow Q3 2018



  • Careem prefers to stay independent despite acquisition offers by Uber and Chinese firm Didi Chuxing
  • Shorooq Investments partners with Plug N Play ADGM to accelerate tech innovation in Abu Dhabi and broader MENA region
  • UAE-based health tech startup Health at Hand wins a spot in the U.S. based Blackbox Connect founder accelerator program
  • New angel investment network, Falcon Network, focuses on early stage startups in Muslim-majority markets in Asia and Africa including UAE



  • Arab Bank to open their Innovation Hub, a 950 sqm fintech focused co-creation facility in Amman, Jordan
  • KIZAD launches Entrepreneurship and Incubation Centre for SMEs to set up business starting at AED13,000



  • Jordan’s Arab Bank to open AB Accelerator Program in December for fintech startups
  • AMEX Middle East partners with corporate innovation specialist Nest to launch ACCELERATE ME accelerator program in Bahrain
  • Chalhoub launches retail-tech accelerator The Greenhouse located in D3
  • Iraq’s first Tech-Entrepreneurship Academy graduates its first cohort of 7 companies
  • Badir Technology Incubator contributes SR 2.1 billion to Saudi economy cumulatively from 2010-2017



  • ME Conference on Business Angel Investment, 01-02 Nov, Egypt
  • Tenmou’s MENA Angels Summit , 12 Nov, Bahrain
  • Driving Innovation in the Retail Industry, 12 Nov, UAE
  • Synergy University Russia Dtec Tour, 14 Nov, Dtec
  • Global WIL Economic Forum, 14-15 Nov, UAE
  • Startup Weekend Women Edition, 15-17 Nov, Dtec
  • Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival, 20-21 Nov, UAE
  • Global Blockchain Foundation, 21-22 Nov, UAE
  • BlockOn, Reengineering Finance, 22 Nov, UAE
  • startAD Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop, 25 Nov, Dtec
  • 1st Global Islamic Fintech Huddle 2018, 26 Nov, Bahrain
  • Blockchain Summit Dubai 2018, 27 Nov, UAE
  • Dtec Mixer: Blockchain Meetup, 28 Nov, Dtec
  • Huawei Developer Day, TBC, Dtec