MENA’s Digital News, Week #18

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

Have you noticed it’s slow on fintech news this week? This week’s round up has no “thoughts” section because I have been bed-bound most week with a terrible chest-infection, however it is full of reports and research, so scroll to the bottom and enjoy the weekend!

Investments & Acquisitions

Eat App

Eat, Bahrain-HQ restaurant booking startup, attracts investments to existing Tenmou held shares 

Wimo, Dubai-based delivery logistics management platform, raises $500k in seed funding from Dubai Angel Investors 

Safra, Ramallah-based online travel platform for travel agents, raises investment from Ibtikar Fund 

Al Tayyar acquires rest of 40% stake in Saudi OTA Almosafer for ~$19M

Sector News

Amazon officially launches Kindle in Egypt via, of course (AR)

MENA “Pay TV revenues fell 16% from $1.25B in 2016 to $1.06B in 2018” launches private label “East by Noon” on it’s platform 

Iris Capital, known regionally as the fund managers of STC Capital, are forming a ‘corporate venture partnership’ with Bridgestone Europe. The partnership feeds into IrisNext’s €250M multi-corporate vehicle 

Kuwait‘s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah launched an initiative to form a $200M fund to support technology investments

IAB’s GCC chapter elects new board for 2019

Omnicom Group consolidates FleishmanHillard Middle East and Impact Porter Novelli 

Alain Bejjani, CEO, MAF and at WEF

Majed Al Futtaim partners with Omega AI Platform, an AI-powered conversational and contextual voice assistant

Moven Enterprises, New-York based digital banking startup, partners with Bahrain’s fintech company Almoayed to provide Moven’s digital banking solutions to local banks

Further Readings

Liquid Telecom has appointed Mohamed Abdel Bassit as its new Regional CEO for Middle East and West Africa

Protiviti, global consulting firm, opens first North Africa firm in Cairo to add to it’s existing network of firms in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi and UAE

The national French tourism development agency launched of an official dedicated Arabic website for French tourism

Long Reads

KPMG’s 2018 Saudi CEO Outlook 

YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings for Middle East: UAE  Egypt  Saudi 

Bloomberg’s “Most Innovative Countries Index 2019” – The regional leader in innovation is the UAE at a global rank of 46, followed by Tunisia at 52 (down 9 ranks from 2018), then Kuwait (55) Saudi (56) and Qatar (57) 

Mintrics’ “How Arabs React to Videos on Facebook” Infograph:

African Business Angel Network (ABAN) ranks Cairo Business Angels as the second most active angel network in Africa and Tunisia’s Carthage Angels was ranked third

According to NewZoo’s “Top 100 Countries/Markets by Game Revenues” ranking, turkey ranks 18th and Saudi Arabia ranks 22nd globally in game revenues, followed by UAE at 35

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