MENA’s Digital News, Week #31

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

Investments & Acquisitions

Jump The Q, Dubai based grocery delivery app, raises angel round from AD based investor 

Kerning Cultures, Dubai based podcast raises $460k seed from regional angel investors

Sary, Saudi wholesale grocery platform, raises $2.7M in seed funding 

Searchie, UAE based recruitment platform, raises $2M in funding

Mejuri, direct-to-consumer fine jewelry startup, raises $23M Series B led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), as well as Felix Capital, Net-a-Porter, Incite Ventures, BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, and DASH Ventures 

Golden Equator, “Singapore-based group of businesses covering financial services, consultancy, and technology”, raises $18M in investment from “from Asia Pacific and Middle East angel investors”

Sector News

Amazon officially takes over, and rebrands as

Careem and Dubai’s RTA to launch mobile bike rental service across 350 locations, no timeline was given on when

UAE’s ADCB, UNB and AHB Banks complete merger

SABB, Saudi Bank, launches cross-border instant payments using Ripple 

SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) signed an agreement with Mastercard’s Vocalink and IBM to develop an “instant payments system” to be launched by end of 2020

Long reads

We Are Social and HootSuit’s Digital 2019 Q2 Global Digital Statshot 

– Snapchat advertising audience reaches 53% of Saudi Population 13years+, Twitter reaches 39% of the same demographic, while instagram reaches 42%
– Instagram advertising audience reaches 52% of Turkish population 13years+,
– Facebook holds a 100% reach of Qatar’s 13years+ population (nothing is a 100%), and 94% of the UAE’s

ASDA’A launches it’s annual Arab Youth Survey

Forbes Insights shares latest findings for the State of Artificial Intelligence in the Middle East at the Ai Everything event in Dubai (This is a press release, I tried to find the actual report with no luck for now)

Recently Read:

Book Cover for Mismatch

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design. Design is a very intentional and quite often misunderstood role of product, city and business.

Unfortunately characters that we have labelled as “fringe” for decades are not: in the U.S., 8% of men have some form of color blindness. That’s 29,760,000 individuals. Not fringe.

My favorite excerpt from the book is: “Many of us are temporarily able-bodied and will face new kinds of exclusion as we age. When we design for inclusion we design for our future selves. Not just for the changes in our bodies but also our ability to contribute to society. It’s designing how the next generation will treat and care for us. It’s making solutions to uphold the human connections that are important in our lives. Our dignity, health, safety, and sense of being at home.”

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