MENA’s Digital News, Week #17

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

This week’s round up is late, I’m catching up on winter in Lebanon and was frankly enjoying the weather a tad too much yesterday to sit in front of a computer.

Investments & Acquisitions

Yawmi, Dubai-based food startup, just closed a seed round from Shorooq Investments https://goo.gl/xKFCxt

Lucidya, Saudi-based arabic social media monitoring platform, raises ~$1M (4M SAR) in Series A funding from BIAC (EN) https://goo.gl/SXWJSH (AR) https://goo.gl/3RyJns

Dubizzle has now been fully acquired by Naspers, $190M was paid for remaining equity. https://goo.gl/V6Kxg8 

Aramex Acquires Saudi TAL for Commerce and Contract Company Ltd (“Saudi TAL”), for approximately $80M https://goo.gl/VygCas 

Modanisa, Turkish modest fashion eCommerce, sells minority stake to Goldman Sachs https://goo.gl/BnU3s6 

Sector News

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make equity-free investments of up to $100k in startups using data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) or similar technologies. https://goo.gl/KSLxZ3

Saudi Government issues regulations and permit procedure for personal and commercial drones https://goo.gl/VcAS4S

Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communication company, Oppo, launched in Saudi Arabia, and commits to helping MENA countries foster 5G powered innovation through Qualcomm partnership and AI R&D https://goo.gl/EibLZK

Google Assistant launches Arabic Language Support in Beta https://goo.gl/LTcZDF 

Further Readings

DP World to buy a 71.3% stake in Chile’s Port Service Puertos y Logistica SA https://goo.gl/eHfYPN

Vietnam’s Yeah1 Media Group acquire’s MCN’s ScaleLab, Youtube multi-channel management platform, which has offices in Latin America, Russia, the UK, and the Middle East https://goo.gl/yp3zNC 

ZDNet: Middle East tech: What does 2019 have in store?

Damian Radcliffe reached out before the end of 2018 to contribute to their annual 2019-predictions article on ZDNet.

I’m honored to be featured along amazing regional leaders such as Chris Schroeder, Jawad Abbassi, Sevag Papazian, and Jaime Galviz.

What does 2019 hold for the region, check out the article here.

Long Reads

African Venture Capital 2018 Report – $725.6M Invested In 458 Deals https://goo.gl/4ZZrCS


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