GCC Startup Ecosystem News | November 2020

GCC Ecosystem News November, startup news, dubai startups, gcc startups, Yahaal, Salla, Quiqup, Fenix, Expandcart, Cartlow, Magnitt, Dtec Ventures, Dtec, Coworking space Dubai, Entrepreneur Hub, Mubadala, Jada Fund of Funds, STartupbootcamp Fintech, DIFC Fintech Hive, Dtec Forum, GITEX, SEF, Wamda

This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: GCC Startup Ecosystem News Roundup – 2020 November


UAE allows 100% ownership of businesses by foreign nationals: The landmark reform in the Foreign Direct Investment Law, several categories of business licences will no longer require Emiratis as sponsors with 51 per cent shareholding rights from December 1.


Startup Sector / Industry Location Amount & Round Investors
Yahaal Retail Kuwait $27M, Series A Seed Partner and AlMutamaiz International Company
Salla Professional Business services KSA $8.5M, Series A led by STV, from  Raed Ventures and Vision Ventures
Quiqup Logistics UAE $5.5, Series B led by Delivery Hero, from  Cedar Mundi, JOBI Capital, and Transmed
Fenix Transportation UAE $3.8M, Seed led by Delivery Hero, from  Cedar Mundi, JOBI Capital, and Transmed
ExpandCart Retail Egypt $2.5M, Series A led by Sawari Ventures, from  Agility Ventures, Graphene Ventures, and angels
Cartlow Retail UAE $2M, Pre-Series A Arzan Ventures, Vision Ventures et al
Atlan Space Morocco $1.1M, Series A Maroc Numeric Fund
Brand Ripplr Marketing UAE $1M, Series A Dubai Angel Investors
Wuilt Marketing USA / Egypt $535K, Seed DAAL VC, Flat6Labs Cairo, and angels
Illa Logistics Egypt $500K, Seed Averroes VC, AUC Angels, Flat6Labs Cairo, et al
Eksab Sports Egypt $500K, Seed 4DX Ventures (Ghana)
Onboard AR/VR Tunisia $175K, Bridge Kepple Africa Ventures  et al
App4legal Legal UAE undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A Betatron Venture Group (Hongkong) & Dubai Angel Investors
Brantu Retail Egypt undisclosed amount, Series A led by Sawari Ventures
Tabib Baghdad Health Iraq undisclosed amount, Seed led by KAPITA and Nass Al Iraq



  • UAE-based healthtech Sehteq to acquire technology & services solution provider Dawa Express for $3M to accelerate Sehteq’s launch of a build-your-own-insurance offering to SMEs. The transaction is expected to close by Q1 2021.
  • Immensa Technology Labs, a UAE-based additive manufacturing (3D printing) solution provider acquires Shakl3D and LayLabs, two leading 3D printing companies in KSA to expand into the country
  • UAE-based micro-mobility startup Fenix secures seed funding from Maniv Mobility, marking the first investment in the country by an Israeli-based VC. The startup plans to begin their operations in Abu Dhabi.


  • Jada, the Fund of Funds Company, part of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed an investment agreement with Alpha Capital, to invest in growth-stage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Kingdom’s food and beverage (F&B) sector
  • Mubadala Capital led a $700M funding round for US-based Reef Technology, which manages hubs in parking lots used for food delivery and other services. They also participated in $250M Series C funding of German-based micro mobility startup TIER Mobility.
  • The Cairo Angels announces the launch of a syndicate fund targeting Pre-Series A startups with aim to close by Q1 2021.


  • DIFC FinTech Hive’s virtual Investor Day features 17 startups  from a pool of over 600 applications, across FinTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech
  • Startupbootcamp Fintech Dubai selects 11 startups for their third cohort from UAE, UK, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Jordan. Despite the current pandemic, the program saw a 20% increase in applications for their third cohort.


  • 01 Dec | Deadline to apply: Changelabs Jordan Fintech Accelerator
  • 06 Dec | Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (Online)
  • 06-10 Dec | GITEX Technology Week (Dubai World Trade Centre)
  • 07 Dec | Yalla Fintech 2020 – Arab Hackathon for Financial Inclusion (Online)
  • 08 Dec | Dtec Forum: Realities of retail in 2020: Offline to Online (online)
  • 09 Dec | Womentum Demo Day (Online)
  • 09 Dec | Deadline to apply: Arab Startup Competition by MITEF
  • 10 Dec | RiseUp Summit 2020: RESET (Online)




Arabian Business

On 100% business ownership  in the UAE: