Startup Ecosystem News | November 2019

GCC startup news, startups, tech startups, startup ecosystem, dubai startup, dubai investor, startup investor, careem, rta, trukker, statys, keno, wamda capital, rea 2071, SAGIA, riseup summit, step next, modus capital, ekar, crowd analyzer, intel, intel innovation centre, justmop, justclean, travis kalanick, cloud kitchen, hub71, 500 startups, hala ventures, oasis500, kisp ventures, startupbootcamp, dubai accelerator, dubai coworking, coworking space, shorooq, flat6labs, plug and play

Dtec Ventures invests in two new startups; Careem lands a 15 year contract with RTA; a new fund for early & growth stage companies announced. These and more in November’s roundup of news in the GCC tech startup ecosystem



  • Trukker (Transportation, UAE) – $23 million, Series A, led by STV, joined by IFC, Riyad Taqnia, et al
  • Ekar (transportation, UAE) – $17.5 million, Series B, from Polymath Ventures
  • Crowd Analyzer (social media analytics, UAE) – $3.5 million, Series A, led by TechInvest, joined by Wamda, et al
  • Tabby (fintech, UAE) – $2 million, Seed, led by Global Founders Capital, joined by Arbor Ventures & Wamda
  • Invygo (transportation, UAE) – $1 million, Seed, led by Class 5 Global, joined by Equitrust, Kairos K50, et al
  • Nalal (medical AI platform, KSA) – $1 million, Seed, led by AlAraby Investment
  • QiDZ (consumer services, UAE) – $1 million, Seed, from Oman Tech Fund, 500 Startups, Vision Ventures, et al
  • Repzo (CRM SaaS platform, Jordan) – $750,000 Pre-Series A, led by Jabbar Internet Group, joined by Arzan VC, et al
  • Perfectly Pressed (F&B, Bahrain) – $400,000, undisclosed round, from individual investor
  • Justmop (cleaning service, UAE) – undisclosed amount, undisclosed round, from Faith Capital and 4 other investors
  • Solfeh (fintech microlending, Jordan) – undisclosed amount, Seed, led by Edgo VC joined by VC & angel investors
  • Addenda (insurtech, UAE) – undisclosed amount, Seed, led by 500 Startups, joined by Beyond Capital et al
  • Statys (fintech, UAE) – undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed, from Dtec Ventures & Propeller Inc
  • KENO (consumer service, UAE) – undisclosed round, undisclosed amount, from Dtec Ventures & JustClean


  • Magnitt’s 2019 Fintech Venture Report shows 37 out of the 163 investors in 2019 have funded fintech startups. Of the 37, 41% of these have not previously invested in MENA-based FinTech startups, showing an increase in appetite
  • 23% of all investors in 2019 YTD invested in one or more FinTech startups
  • Top 5 funded FinTech startups have raised over $100M in venture funding from various institutions
  • Accelerators account for a large share of early-stage FinTech deals across the region
  • StartupBootcamp has 2 FinTech-specific accelerator programs in Cairo and Dubai
  • 500 Startups and Pride Capital (partially) invested through their regional accelerators in FinTech startups
magnitt, fintech, fintech startup, tech investor, investors, startup investor, dtec ventures, wamda, 500 startups, accelerators, dubai accelerators, dubai startup, dubai fintech, MEVP, Shorooq, wamda capital, seed, series A, KSIP ventures, flat6labs, dubai angel investor, badir program, uae investor

Source: 2019 MENA FinTech Venture Report (


  • SAGIA onboards 18 more Venture Capitals onto “VENTURES by INVEST SAUDI” – an initiative to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to branch out to KSA.
  • SAGIA introduces “ANGELS by INVEST SAUDI” to allow foreign startups endorsed by angel investors to obtain instant Entrepreneurship License from SAGIA with 100% foreign ownership in under 3 hours.
  • Angel Ventures (Mexico) partners with Iliad Partners (UAE) and announces founding of South-South Venture Alliance (SSVA), a new global VC targeting early stage investments in emerging markets
  • Wamda and Area 2071 hosted a “Decade of Entrepreneurship” panel which featured Magnus Olsson (Careem), Rabea Ataya ( and Ronaldo Mouchawar (
  • Al Salam Bank-Bahrain and MSA Capital (China VC) launches MEC Ventures, a $50 million VC fund which will introduce new Chinese technologies and business models to the Middle East
  • UAE-based W Ventures has announced that it will be investing $50 million, through its independent brand engagement partner RedPeg Middle East, to develop an online and offline gaming platform in MENA


  • UAE Central Bank to establish FinTech Office with aim of positioning itself as the coordinating authority, author of regulatory requirements and enabler & facilitator of FinTech Activities in the UAE.
  • Uber ex-CEO Travis Kalanick takes $400 million funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for his food startup “CloudKitchen”. The company is valued at around $5 billion
  • Rakbank launches SMEsouk to provide a suite of non-banking value add services such as licensing, accounting, insurance and trade requirements.
  • Ekar launches in Saudi Arabia following $17.5M Series B funding round
  • RTA Dubai signed a 15-year contract with Careem for the operation of 3,500 bicycles across 350 smart docking stations in Dubai.


  • Hub71 signs MoU with Misk Foundation (KSA) for cross-market access between KSA and UAE. Hub71 is also named as the UAE’s National Organizer for the The Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWS) 2020


  • Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) and startAD selects the 6 Emirati led tech startups for its Ibtikari 5.0 incubation program
  • Krypto Labs partners with Sandooq Al Watan, an Emirati led social initiative, for The Bridge Program. The latter will provide deal flow, support and funding for the program’s first phase graduates
  • Sheraa announces “Access Sharjah” program to support digital content & publishing startups, slated for March 2020 launch.
  • Dubai Smart City Accelerator welcomes 11 startups for its third cohort


  • RiseUp Summit (Egypt) – 05-07 Dec
  • STEP Next (Dubai) – 08 Dec
  • ArabNet Riyadh (KSA) – 10 Dec
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (UAE) – 10-11 Dec
  • Savour Mentor & Demo Day (Kuwait) – 10 Dec
  • Plug and Play Demo Day (Abu Dhabi) – 17 Dec


  • Deadline to apply: Manassah by StartAD & Aldar – 21 Dec
  • Deadline to apply: MIT Arab Competition – 10 Dec