Startup Ecosystem Newsletter | June 2019

June was had another interesting month for the regional tech startup scene. Swvl made headlines raising it’s Series C round.


  • Swvl announced it Series C round with $42 million. The Cairo-based startup was founded just two years ago, and they have now raised close to $80mn, making it one of the best-funded startups in the entire region.
  • Uber clears first regulatory hurdle in Careem acquisition, the UAE Minister of Economy has granted full approval of the pending purchase of the ride-hailing companyThe founder of Web Summit, one of the largest tech conferences worldwide, said he is in talks with the UAE government over plans to bring a global tech and innovation gathering to the country by 2022
  • Top 5 MENA Venture Capital Deals for Q2 2019 total $98.5 million.which includes: Swvl ($42 million Series C), ($30 million Series A), Mawdoo3 ($10 million part of Series B), Noon Academy ($8.6 million Series A), and ($8.5 million Series A)
  • Dtec in partnership with Entrepreneur ME holds its 2nd Dtec Forum for 2019 with the theme “Built To Win: Starting Up In The Middle East” featuring entrepreneurs Mona Kattan (Co-founder and Global President, Huda Beauty), Sima Ved (Founder & Vice Chairperson, Apparel Group) and Kunal Kapoor (Founder & CEO, The Luxury Closet)


  • Swvl (transportation, Egypt) – $42 million, Series C, from BECO, otf Jasoor Ventures, Sawari Ventures, et al
  • Noon Academy (edtech, KSA) – $8.6 million, Series A, led by Raed Ventures & STV
  • (ecommerce, UAE) – $8.5 million, Series A, from undisclosed investors
  • Tenderd (heavy equipment rental, UAE) – $5.8 million, Seed round, from Y Combinator, BECO, Peter Thiel
  • Foodics (restaurant management system, KSA) – $4 million, pre-Series B, led by Riyad Taqnia Fund
  • Trukkin (logistic, UAE) – $3 million, undisclosed round, from Al-Namlah Group, Al-Madi Group, Abanumay Group
  • Zbooni (retail tech, UAE) – $1.1 million, undisclosed round, from Chalhoub Group & B&Y Venture Partners
  • Bsynchro (insurtech, Lebanon) – $1 million, undisclosed round, from Berytech & Phoenician Funds
  • Orcas (edtech, Egypt) – $500K, Pre-Series A, from Algebra Ventures and NFX Capital
  • Stories Studio (game development, Bahrain) – $70,000 Seed round, from Faris Algosaibi (angel)
  • Averos (tracking analytics, KSA) – undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A, from Wa’ed Ventures (Saudi Aramco)
  • Eksab (sports tech, Egypt) – undisclosed amount, Seed round, from 500 Startups
  • Foloosi (fintech, UAE) – undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed, from Rashed Alfalasi (angel)
  • Urent (P2P car rental, UAE) – undisclosed amount & round, from The Private Office
  • Hopi (ecommerce, UAE) – undisclosed amount, Seed round, from Esanjo Ventures


  • Urent to launch first Peer to Peer car rental in the UAE, in partnership with The Seed Group, an organization owned by The Private Office Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
  • Careem launches bus service in Jeddah KSA with 20 buses at rates 60-70% lower than Careem car service
  • Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) gives initial approval to the creation of the Arabian Bourse to become the first ever fully-regulated crypto asset exchange in Abu Dhabi.
  • Souqalmal announced that it has received regulatory approval from Central Bank of Bahrain to launch its insurance comparison service in Bahrain


  • BeyondCapital was awarded $450K from Mercy Corps to collaborate and invest early-stage companies in Jordan
  • Softbank and its bankers are reported to be in preliminary talks with sovereign wealth funds rom Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), Oman, Singapore & Kazakhstan for its second $100 billion fund with aims to close in January 2020


  • Hub71 announces partnership with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to bring startups who are ready for global growth to the hub


  • Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) announced that 72 startups have graduated from their program since its inception 2016, and that the startups collectively have raised over $37 million in funding and created >500 jobs in the UAE
  • Dubai Smart City Accelerator kicks off its MENA Roadshow taking place June 9th and July 3rd
  • Shorooq Investments partners with Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to launch “Jusoor” Accelerator Program dedicated to support selected 3-5 Korean startups
  • Womena has selected 8 female-led startups to take part in Cycle 2 of its Womentum Accelerator
  • Meydan One partners with SMEDistrict to launch an F&B and retail startup targeted, 4-month incubation program that would provide them access to retail space, services and benefits


  • Deadline: Startupbootcamp Application – 20th July
  • 2019 Futurism Programme – 31st July, Dubai