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MENA’s Digital News, Week #48

This is last weeks post due to challenges with the hosting service, cancellation and transfer to a new host. We’re up on running now!

A weekly round up of the top headlines from the digital sector in MENA, covering startups, corporate and the public sector.

Investments & Acquisitions

Shelvz, Lebanon-based Saas-workforce management platform, raises funding from iM Capital http://bit.ly/2kfmMIv

Foloosi, UAE-based fintech startup, closes a angel funding round of $500k (inclusive of the committed funding in June) http://bit.ly/2A5bxGA

Misk Growth Accelerator kicks off cycle with 11 startups, each of which will receive up to $100k in funding from Seedstars & Vision Ventures by end of cycle http://bit.ly/2kFN7zz

Sector News

Wired Magazine launches Middle East edition http://bit.ly/2LlmVVh 

Youtube launches subscription based premium music streaming service in MENA http://bit.ly/2k6ehiG 

Arrow Labs, Dubai-based wearable workforce management, expands to the USA. They had raised a single funding round from Global Ventures (Dubai) in May, 2018 (amount undisclosed) http://bit.ly/2LoJUPz

Qatar blocks Uber’s acquisition of Careem within the country http://bit.ly/318Vx2y 

Fintech

CareemPay launches mobile top-up capability in Egypt and Pakistan http://bit.ly/2lQpeFw 

Accion Venture Lab & Fund, $33M, launches to invest in MENAP based startups focused on financial inclusion http://bit.ly/2A0bImT

Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) grants the first full digital banking license to Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, which will allow it to provide corporate banking services to Abu Dhabi based companies starting with ones based in ADGM http://bit.ly/2ZTVkmf 

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is considering to expand the scope of digital currencies to banks & other countries http://bit.ly/30dybHr 

Central Bank of Egypt to launch over $50M fintech fund http://bit.ly/2kc7KDc 

Further Reading

Saudi’s Ministry of Labor launches a new platform to facilitate freelance work licenses in the kingdom (AR) http://bit.ly/2kaPzhc 

Egypt’s ICT Minister says they plan to launch 7 technological parks in 7 universities across Egypt, with EGP 1B (~$60M) budget from the government, and aims to increase ICT contribution to GDP to 4% by end of year http://bit.ly/2kFEFjE 

Egypt begins digitization of its energy grid http://bit.ly/2ka3qEr

Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, (owned by Mubadala) and the UK government have invested £70M ($86.5M) in a new green technology fund to be managed by London-based Zouk Capital http://bit.ly/2lIVsmk

Long Reads

The World Economic Forum publishes the 2019 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report. The UAE leads MENA enablement, infrastructure, ICT, labor and at a globally competitive level, however it’s not faring well on nature, openness and price. Full report here: http://bit.ly/2kqLhCF


To get your daily dose subscribe to MENA’s Digital News Telegram channel here or on Whatsapp. Follow the Arabic “MENA’s Digital News” Channels on Telegram & Whatsapp!


MENA’s Digital News, Week #47

A weekly round up of the top headlines from the digital sector in MENA, covering startups, corporate and the public sector.

It’s been a slow back-to-school week, but with so many tech events planned in Q4 the news mills should be churning pretty soon!

Investments & Acquisitions

Doctoorum, a marketplace for Medical Tourism, announces investment from Numu Capital. Amount undisclosed. Doctoorum is a graduate from AUC Venture Lab Accelerator http://bit.ly/2m0Z9nv 

Telp.me, Bahrain based tutoring marketplace, raises angel investment from Yaser Al Ghamdi. via twitter http://bit.ly/2lDOVJk 

Well Principled, US based AI startup, raised $1.6M in seed funding from Venture Souq (Dubai), Soma Capital and Global Founders Capital http://bit.ly/32k4V3q

Sector News

Careem Go and UberX categories have been suspended in Dubai http://bit.ly/2ltabl6

Emaar, leading Dubai real-estate developer, launches a short-term rental platform called Ease by Emaar. The properties will also be available on airbnb, booking.com and others. http://bit.ly/2lZXyhJ 

Arrow Labs, Dubai-based wearable workforce management, expands to the USA. They had raised a single funding round from Global Ventures (Dubai) in May, 2018 (amount undisclosed) http://bit.ly/2LoJUPz 

Wired Magazine launches Middle East edition http://bit.ly/2LlmVVh 

Mubadala expected to invest in Vision Fund 2 in Q4 https://reut.rs/2lAwKEu 

Further Reading

Vodafone Group to enter the Omani market as a new telecom operator. Oman currently has 2 main operators: Omantel and Ooredoo http://bit.ly/2kkbDWZ


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MENA’s Digital news was very helpful to keep me on track and up-to-date with the news that matters. I became very well informed effortlessly. Much appreciated 🙏 

قناة مينا لأخبار التقنية ساعدتني بشكل كبير في الإلمام بمستجدات وأخبار الساحة. فعليًا ما احتجت أتابع الخبر، صار الخبر الهام يأتيني إلى عندي. ممتن للفريق 

Mazen AlDarrab, Founder of Zid | زد
مازن الضراب، مؤسس، زد

👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

To get your daily dose subscribe to MENA’s Digital News Telegram channel hereor on Whatsapp. Follow the Arabic “MENA’s Digital News” Channels on Telegram & Whatsapp!


MENA’s Digital News, Week #46

A weekly round up of the top headlines from the digital sector in MENA, covering startups, corporate and the public sector.

Investments & Acquisitions

NowPay, Egypt-based payday advance startup, raises $600k in Seed funding from Endure Capital and 500 Startups http://bit.ly/2Zxq0pf 

Mecal, eCommerce platform focused on men’s accessories, raises investment from Ibtikar Fund and Innovative Startups and SME’s Fund (ISSF) – amount undisclosed http://bit.ly/345jdq8

Trolley, Egypt-based grocery delivery, raises $200k in funding from a Kuwaiti angel investor It’s unclear if that funding is inclusive of the amount raised from Y Combinator or not http://bit.ly/2PdqLUu 

Falcon Network, Dubai-based angel investment network, invests $450k in 6 startups: Aion Sigma, Caravan, Saaya Health, Teacherly, Virtual i Technologies and Workaround http://bit.ly/2ZueDT3

SINC, Bahrain-based workforce management startup, raised $250k led by Dubai Angel Investors and other regional investors for expansion http://bit.ly/340gnmB 

Platform 9, US-based fully managed hybrid cloud platform, raises $25M in series D led by NGP Capital, joined by Mubadala Ventures and others https://tcrn.ch/2NDqgAE

Drop, Canadian retail offers startup, raises $44M led by HOF Capital (a fund led by some of Egypt’s wealthiest family groups) https://tcrn.ch/2NvGrQI

Cisco acquired US-based Voicea (Egyptian founders); Voicea had previously acquired Dubai-based Wrappup & their team, which are now a part of the second acquisition. Wrappup had raised investment from BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Arzan VC, Womena, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dubai Angel Investors, and Hala Fadel http://bit.ly/2Zsnj8g 

Sector News

Jordan introduces new taxes for social media, influencers and eCommerce http://bit.ly/2MJniLB 

Eventtus, Egypt HQ event platform, expands to Saudi http://bit.ly/2zq4VlO 

Paytm, India, plans expansion of Paytm Mall & eBay into the Middle East http://bit.ly/2ZskzrA 

Aster DM Healthcare to setup an “Aster Innovation and Research Centre” between GCC and India http://bit.ly/2Hsr1ZI 

Viu, Asian content streaming platform with operation in MENA, announces collaboration with Wattpad “social storytelling platform” to produce more original content http://bit.ly/2Hpci1s 

Fintech

BLOMbank, Lebanon, upgrades existing NFC-enabled BLOMPay, mobile payment service, with Mastercard integration http://bit.ly/2Znb10S 

ADGM Reglab, Abu Dhabi, adds 4 more startups: DAPI (UAE), PointCheckout (UAE), Jibrel Network (Switzerland) & Ekofolio (Luxemburg) http://bit.ly/2PdzBle 

Central Bank of Bahrain issues final rules on “insurance aggregators” http://bit.ly/33WftY4 

Tunisian Post launches a QR payment solution “Masterpass QR” in a bid to encourage mobile payments http://bit.ly/2Ht7qs1

Long Reads

Snapchat commissioned a study of Saudi Nationals usage of the platform: Saudi’s watch more online video than traditional TV; 80% view premium short-from videos more here: http://bit.ly/2L6MwA7 

Pew Research Center conducts study “In Emerging Economies, Smartphone and Social Media Users Have Broader Social Networks” on users in 11 countries including: Lebanon, Jordan & Tunisia:
*Users reported using smartphone for getting regular news: 55% Jordan (highest), 51% Lebanon, only 31% Tunisia
*Look up health related information: 70% Jordan (highest), 61% Lebanon, 54% Tunisia https://pewrsr.ch/2MBuIAc

Further Reading

Lulu Group, UAE based retail conglomerate, announces plan to invest $500m in Egypt as part of its expansion into the country http://bit.ly/2Ufq3oQ

For the weekend:

“If you invest in yourself, no one can take that away from you”
– Warren Buffet


To get your daily dose subscribe to MENA’s Digital News Telegram channel hereor on Whatsapp. Follow the Arabic “MENA’s Digital News” Channels on Telegram & Whatsapp!