This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: GCC Startup Ecosystem News Roundup – 2020 June
- Founders & investors anticipate lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic: Cash flow challenges, fundraising and health & safety are primary concerns of startups during the pandemic. Accelerated fundraising in Fintech and ICT startups, while retail, transportation, and entertainment ventures saw reduced valuations More from the Magnitt-INSEAD Report
|Startup||Sector / Industry||Location||Amount & Round||Investors|
|Jahez||F&B||KSA||$35M Series A||Led by Impact46|
|Wahed||Finance||UAE||$25M Series C||Led by Wa’ed Ventures and BECO, from Cue Capital, Dubai Cultiv8 et al|
|Noon Academy||Education||KSA||$13M Pre-Series B||Led by STV, from Alturki Holding and NFX Ventures|
|Tabby||Finance||UAE||$7M undisclosed round||Led by Raed Ventures, from MSA Capital and Arbor Ventures|
|MoneyFellows||Finance||Egypt||$4M Series A||Partech and Sawari Ventures|
|Rizek||Human Resources||UAE||$3.5M Seed||ADIO, Rozana Capital, et al|
|Band Industries||Entertainment||Lebanon||$2.8M Series A||Led by Cedar Mundi Ventures, form iSME, B&Y Venture Partners, Berytech Fund, SOS Ventures (USA)|
|Zedny||Education||Egypt||$1.2M Pre-Seed||Angel investors|
|KRISPR||Agriculture||UAE||$600K, Pre-Seed||led by KAIZEN FZCO|
|Ajar||Real Estate||Kuwait||Undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A||SBX Capital, 500 Startups, and Seeds Partners|
|Chefaa||Health||Egypt||Undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A||500 Startups, Vision Ventures, Womena, et al|
|Clip the Deal||Retail||UAE||Undisclosed amount, Series A||Led by Optiscape Network Holdings|
|Muniz||Consumer Services||KSA||Undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A||Led by Vision Ventures, from Al Khathlan Holding Co. and Seedstars|
|Shezlong||Health||Egypt||Undisclosed||Asia Africa Investment & Consulting et al|
|Shgardi||Logistics||KSA||Undisclosed||Mad’a Investment Company (KSA)|
|Syarah||Automotive||KSA||undisclosed amount, Bridge to Series B||Impact 46 and an angel investor|
|Ureed||Human Resources||UAE||Undisclosed amount, Seed||Wamda and Anova Investments|
- Data collected from startup founders across UAE, KSA, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman & Iraq,
- Startup founders (especially those based in KSA and later-stage ventures) are more worried than investors about the impact of Covid-19 crisis,
- 61% of founders & 48% of investors expect the crisis to end between Q4 ‘20 & Q1 ’21
- Operational impact: Almost half report a significant impact of COVID-19 on operations
- (46%); 22% put their operations on hold
- A significant share of ICT, EdTech and Fintech startups report being unaffected by the crisis (18%)
- Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) invests $5M in the Shorooq Partners’ Bedaya Fund to accelerate the latter’s support in Abu Dhabi-based seed stage companies
- Angel group Cairo Angels partners with Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative to provide fundraising consultancy service to 5 startups selected by Microsoft in Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Pakistan
- Careem launches their Super App, which consolidates Careem Services available for the specific area they operate.
- Careem partners with VISA to accelerate cashless payments and digital financial inclusion for Careem captains in MENA.
- Amazon and Souq launch Amazon.sa in KSA, replacing Souq.com. Souq Saudi is now redirecting all the users to Amazon.sa
- Arabic audiobook production Kitab Sawti partners with Careem KSA to allow Careem riders to exchange points for subscriptions on the Kitab Sawti app.
- Noon quietly launches NowNow in Dubai, a 60-minute on-demand grocery and essentials delivery platform, with no minimum order and charges a AED5 fee.
- Lunch:On changes name to MUNCH:ON and expands its discounted meals service to bring its AED25 signature lunches to residential locations across all meal times
- Twitter launches 140-second voice tweets available for limited users and to be rolled out to all Twitter users in iOS in the coming weeks.
- DHL express partners with fintech startup Tabby to provide DHL customers with a “pay later” option to address the region’s dependence on cash
- Kuwaiti beauty ecommerce platform Boutiqaat is looking to raise fresh funds at a valuation of up to $1 billion
- Amazon and fintech company Payfort, launches #StartUpStayUp initiative to fund merchant partners with 3-month digital marketing campaign worth AED1M for increased brand exposure and increase traffic to their online sites
- Dtec-based startup Hotel Data Cloud (HDC) was awarded “Healing Solutions for Tourism” by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), beating startups from 100 countries in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on tourism.
- Digital healthcare platform Vezeeta, partners with KSA’s Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development of Saudi Arabia (MHRSD) to extend free telehealth services to the company’s workforce.
- UAE online & mobile first fashion platform Nisnass by Al Tayer Group confirmed to close down with last trading date set for 16 July 2020
- Peer to peer mobile app Mamo Pay joins VISA’s Fintech Fast Track program to reach a wider audience
- Yousif Abdulaziz, CEO of Delivery Hero’s KSA subsidiary HungerStation (the eading food delivery player of the country), has left the company
- HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP & UAE Prime Minister UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the Dubai Future Labs (DFL), a global hub that will develop future tech and produce the latest, life-changing innovations.
- Bird shuts down scooter sharing in the Middle East which is managed by Circ, the micro-mobility startup it acquired in January 2020
- Dubai fintech Tpay Mobile acquires Turkish payments company Payguru
- AstroLabs partners with Google for Startups to launch its Digital Upskill and Startup Acceleration Scholarship Programs awarding 100 digital upskill scholarships, 15 start-up acceleration scholarships, and offering AED240,000 in grants for tech startups
- Hub71 partners with Mubadala-owned IT services Injazat to accelerate startups and connect with Injazat’s portfolio of corporates and government clients
ACCELERATORS / INCUBATORS
- Pre-seed accelerator and Silicon-Valley based programme Founder Institute to launch its newest chapter in Dubai.
- HSBC’s C3 Social Impact Accelerator selects 24 finalists for their latest cohort.
- Startup accelerator and investment fund manager Oasis Venture II Fund invests in new cohort of 8 early-stage startups: AlHaq, TakalamTech, Jordilight, FITELY, Pi Pharma, ByrdByte, Quiq Claim, and Tanda.
- UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs selects 4 Emirati startups to enroll in the 3-month UAE NewSpace Innovation Program
ARTICLES WORTH READING
- TechCrunch: YC to cut the size of its investment in future YC startups
- Magnitt: It’s time to leapfrog: Why MENA entrepreneurs will be the catalyst to leapfrog over other economies
- Hub71 Report: Rethinking Banking for Startups
- CrowdAnalyzer Report: State of Social Media ’20
- 08 July | Launch of H1 2020 MENA Venture Investment Report
- 21 July | Dtec Forum: The Future of Entrepreneurship in the UAE
- 24-26 Aug | STEP Anywhere