Dtec Ventures brings you a roundup of the startup news from the GCC Ecosystem for the month of November 2018
- Dtec recognized as the ‘MENA Fintech Accelerator of the Year’ at the FinX – Excellence in Fintech Awards for 2018. Dtec-based company Arabian Chain wins ‘MENA Fintech Startup of the Year’ award.
- Dtec Ventures portfolio company 360Vuz makes it to the shortlist of the Start Up Pitch Competition at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts
- Property Finder, a online real estate business platform based in the UAE, has raised $120M of funding. The round was led by US-based Private equity firm General Atlantic.
- Majid Al Futtaim has acquired Beam Portal, the owner of UAE mobile wallet app ‘Beam’. The acquisition grants Majid Al Futtaim ownership of Beam’s IP rights, branding, and e-wallet services across the region.
- Tecom has launched its GoFreelance permit (for Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Knowledge Park). The Freelancer permit cost Dh7,500 a year and access to a Business Centre. List of allowed activities here.
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invests $10 million in BECO’s newest VC fund, which is expected to reach up to $100 million
INVESTMENTS| MENA-BASED STARTUPS
- Property Finder (real-estate classifieds platform, UAE) – $120 million, led by US-based PE firm General Atlantic
- Holidayme (travel tech, UAE) – $16 million, Series C, from Gobi Partners, Global Ventures, Algebra Venture et al
- WakeCap (safety & protectivity IoT, UAE) – $1.6 million, Seed, from Consolidated Contract Company et al.
- Kamkalima (Arabic edtech, Lebanon) – $1.5 million, Series A, from Phoenician Funds I, iSME and Tarek Jallad
- Volt Lines (subscription-based transportation, Turkey) – $1.28 million, Pre-Series A, from Dubai Angel Investors
- LoadMe (digital transport broker, UAE) – $1 million as part of Series A, from family office establishments in KSA
- Fakahany (fresh produce ecommerce platform, Egypt) – $700,000 Seed, led by Endure Capital
- Gathern (booking platform for chalets & camps, KSA) – undisclosed amount, Inspire Ventures, Vision Ventures
- Bluering (fintech, Lebanon) – undisclosed amount, Series A, from Phoenician Funds
- Whyise (impact management software, Jordan) – undisclosed amount, Seed, from Propeller Inc.
- Swvl (mass transit system, Egypt) – undisclosed amount, Series B. led by BECO plus all existing investors
INVESTMENTS I INSIGHTS
Startup directory and investment data platform, Magnitt.com released their Q3 2018 MENA Venture Investment report with the following insights on Funding Institution Activities:
- 2018 YTD most active venture capital investors were 500 Startups (28), MEVP (12) Arzan Capital (9) based on number of investments
- Accelerator programs remain a key stakeholder in supporting early stage startups: Flat6labs Cairo with 18 startups, and Oasis500, Flat6labs Bahrain, Flat6labs Beirut and Flat6Labs Tunis graduating cohorts of 8 startups each
- Emerging investors: Flat6labs Bahrain, Kingsway Capital, Cedar Mundi, Phoenician Funds and Fikra Labs.
ACCELERATOR / INCUBATOR
- 500 Startups partners with Misk Innovation to launch 500 MENA Accelerator Program for early stage startups
STARTUP & VC NEWS
- Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co. leads $60 million Series B round of U.S.-based logistics software startup Turvo
- Alabbar’s $1 billion e-commerce platform Noon hunts for acquisitions to bolster its operations
- The Kuwait Stock Exchange plans to set up a VC market to attract and support the country’s growing startups,
- Emirate NBD launches its API sandbox to enable open collaboration with fintech firms. 4 firms were onboarded to date, to create POCs on the platform.
- Dubai-based payments processor, Network International, picks Citigroup, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as coordinators for stock sale (IPO)
- Careem launched a bus service in Egypt and has plans to bring the service to KSA and Pakistan.
- Careem working with investment bank Jefferies indicating potential deal (M&A) with Uber. It is also rumored to be raising $100-200 million from Chinese investors
UPCOMING DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS
- New Venture Challenge by AUS – 01 Dec
- Market Access by Dubai Startup Hub – 10 Dec
- 500 MENA Accelerator Program – 15 Dec
- StartAD Beyond the Pitch – 15 Jan
- Innovation Impact Grant Programme – 04 Dec
- Startupbootcamp Fintech Hive – 20 Dec
UPCOMING EVENTS BY DTEC
- Fintech Navigator Course by Pearson – 10 Dec – 17 Feb
- Dubai Chamber Focus Group: Fundraising in the UAE – 10 Dec
- Dtec Forum: AI and Arabnet Report launch – 11 Dec
- Emirati Bootcamp – 11 – 15 Dec
- Dtec Mixer – 19 Dec
- Open Data Science Meetup – 01 Dec, Dubai
- Facebook App Summit Dubai – 04 Dec, Dubai
- RiseUp Summit Egypt – 07-08 Dec, Egypt
- The Next 100 Africa Startups Initiative, 08-09 Dec, Egypt
- Middle East Mompreneur Forum – 10 Dec, Dubai
- UX Design Thinking Masterclass – 09-10 Dec, Egypt
- Smart SME MENA 2018 – 10-11 Dec, Dubai
- Startupbootcamp Demo Day – 11 Dec, Dubai
- Enrupt Innovation Forum – 12 Dec, Dubai
- Intelak Cohort 4 Demo Day – 17 Dec, Dubai
ARTICLES WORTH READING
- Zawya: Saudi Arabia promotes e-commerce for small traders
- ComputerWeekly.com: How Bahrain plans to become a regional fintech hub
- Wamda: China’s growing interest in the Mid East
- The National: UAE jumps 10 places in World Bank’s ease of doing business list