MENA’s Digital News, Week #15

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

Better late than never! I was debating whether the handful of news was worth a stand alone post this week while house hunting around Dubai. Decision was to stay consistent. So here goes:

Investments & Acquisitions

Boutiqaat, Kuwait beauty eCommerce startup, raises $45M at a reported valuation of $300M https://goo.gl/PWcbWk

Enerwhere, UAE-based solar hybrid solutions, raises $940K through Eureeca’s crowdfunding platform https://goo.gl/X9qA5g crowdfunding campaign: https://goo.gl/Uhy9XJ

Inagrab, Bahrain-based AI & Big Data for retail startup, closes funding round led by 500 Startups https://goo.gl/Ajdjps

FADEL, enterprise rights and royalty management software, completed its Series B funding round led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), and joined by Kafalat iSME and B&Y Venture Partners (amount undisclosed) https://goo.gl/Z6YFKU (MEVP was part of previous rounds)

Sector News

The National Bank of Kuwait has launched “NBK Direct Remit,” a blockchain-based cross-border payment solution, which uses RippleNet https://goo.gl/N1Mfg5 

Saudi Customs is now piloting integration with TradeLens, blockchain-enabled global shipping solution jointly developed by Maersk and IBM, via FASAH.sa’s import-export portal https://goo.gl/1hm7PA (The partnership was signed in August and includes Kuwait’s agility as well https://goo.gl/unUdje)

Careem expands tuk-tuk service to Cairo (in stealth mode) https://goo.gl/xbKSMf

Hungerstation signs a strategic partnership with Saudi’s Alittihad Football Club (AR) https://goo.gl/9Y4XMf 


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I bought myself a little new year present:

It doesn't have to be crazy at work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson; AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee; The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri
It doesn’t have to be crazy at work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson; AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee; The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri