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 https://goo.gl/L6qnXW 

Wimo, Dubai-based delivery logistics management platform, raises $500k in seed funding from Dubai Angel Investors https://goo.gl/jPtMHD 

Safra, Ramallah-based online travel platform for travel agents, raises investment from Ibtikar Fund https://goo.gl/PUHyST 

Al Tayyar acquires rest of 40% stake in Saudi OTA Almosafer for ~$19M https://goo.gl/FQD5j5

Sector News

Amazon officially launches Kindle in Egypt via Souq.com, of course (AR) https://goo.gl/b5fXvu

MENA “Pay TV revenues fell 16% from $1.25B in 2016 to $1.06B in 2018” https://goo.gl/DfVFz7

Noon.com launches private label “East by Noon” on it’s platform https://goo.gl/jYaU9g 

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 https://goo.gl/DFSbzU 

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 https://goo.gl/Fr771H

IAB’s GCC chapter elects new board for 2019 https://goo.gl/h81yFg

Omnicom Group consolidates FleishmanHillard Middle East and Impact Porter Novelli https://goo.gl/hFeabQ 

Alain Bejjani, CEO, MAF and Will.i.am at WEF

Majed Al Futtaim partners with Omega AI Platform, an AI-powered conversational and contextual voice assistant https://goo.gl/JphJC9

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 https://goo.gl/eVUqGX

Further Readings

Liquid Telecom has appointed Mohamed Abdel Bassit as its new Regional CEO for Middle East and West Africa https://goo.gl/3EGVYx

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 https://goo.gl/JBh5xW

The national French tourism development agency launched of an official dedicated Arabic website for French tourism https://goo.gl/CGkV63

Long Reads

KPMG’s 2018 Saudi CEO Outlook https://goo.gl/KuPZ1H 

YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings for Middle East: UAE https://goo.gl/5oDv6Z  Egypt https://goo.gl/8TY2dA  Saudi https://goo.gl/mmk4in 

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) https://goo.gl/LbXbyc 

Mintrics’ “How Arabs React to Videos on Facebook” Infograph: https://goo.gl/apuABZ

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 https://goo.gl/sJrua7

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 https://goo.gl/6werha


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