Tagacquisition

MENA’s Digital News, Week #32

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

Investments & Acquisitions

Odiggo, Cairo based spare parts marketplace, raises $180k seed from angel investor http://bit.ly/2PVyUtE 

eMushrif, Oman based smart school bus solution, raises $1M from Phaze Ventures, Oman Technology Fund’s Wadi Accelerator, Sparklabs Energy, Myrad Holding, Bahrain’s Dividend Gate Capital, and angel investors http://bit.ly/2VkdD2t 

Kitab Sawti, Arabic audibook platform, raises $6M Series A from Bonnier Ventures, Paltel Group, Kaaf Investments, Northzone, and individual investors http://bit.ly/2Vgk1rv 

ArqamFC, Cairo-based sports data startup, gets acquired by UK’s StatsBomb for undisclosed amount http://bit.ly/2J9SmlD

PwC Middle East acquires Teambase Consulting, UAE based Data Analytics Consulting firm http://bit.ly/2V3DxT8 

Checkout.com, global payment gateway, raises $230m in record European Series A led by Insight Partners and DST Global http://bit.ly/2H3gnbT (Checkout founder and many leaders are Dubai based, they also have a strong foothold in the city)

Sector News

Lebanon gets it’s own Fintech focused hub: StartechEUS FinHub http://bit.ly/2vGgrrm 

Google Assistant launched in Saudi Arabia, Egypt http://bit.ly/2V3Uayh (support for Arabic language was released earlier)

Wahed becomes the first globally-accessible halal robo-advisor, 130 countries http://bit.ly/2VOpmGe

SoftBank considers IPO of $100B Vision Fund https://reut.rs/2PNQkIu

Aramex signed over 1,000 Saudi nationals onto crowd-based delivery fleet http://bit.ly/2V1BqPZ

BookMyShow, Indian entertainment ticketing platform, announced 5 year strategic partnership with Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena http://bit.ly/302vJF2 

Dubai Future Foundation signed an agreement with Dubai Development Authority and TECOM Group Dubai to allow startups in AREA 2071 (DFF) to setup license through the in5 platform (by TECOM) http://bit.ly/2YiWFyJ 

Further Readings

Tristar Group, Dubai based logistics company, plans for IPO and booked Bank of America and Citigroup for the process http://bit.ly/2J4lxqe

Gulf Capital and Waha Capital hold merger talks http://bit.ly/2VnQX1h

Saudi launches “Special Residency” program “ الإقامة المميزة” which includes: extended and permanent residency visas for non-citizens in the Kingdom http://bit.ly/2YlSWQZ


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MENA’s Digital News, Week #27

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

Investments & Acquisitions

Brimore, egypt’s manufacturer to consumer platform, raises $800k from Algebra Ventures and Endure Capital, with participation from 500 Startups, Flat6Labs, and some angel investors http://bit.ly/2FI3Mcd 

Social Champ, Pakistani media planning solution, raises $100k from Oman’s OTF Wadi (2nd investment into Pakistan this year) http://bit.ly/2OHEAqe

Forward Delivery, Dubai based last mile delivery, raises $2.6M in a pre-series A from multiple investors including Saudi-based Al Rajhi “family members” http://bit.ly/2HNdP3b

Property Finder increases stake in Turkish property platform Zingat to 40% http://bit.ly/2CPt9s9 

Sector News

Google Assistant launches in Arabic [AR] http://bit.ly/2I2fwJo 

Egyptian Competitive Authority (ECA) launches review into Uber-Careem acquisition deal http://bit.ly/2uAoO7v 

Sarwa launches “Halal and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)” investment portfolios http://bit.ly/2uDk40Y

Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank and Arab Financial Services (AFS), launch a digital pay-roll solution for unbanked blue-collar workers in Bahrain http://bit.ly/2Vnodld

Aramex Builds Integration with WhatsApp Business Solution via Nexmo APIs https://prn.to/2uLIKEA

Zoho launches Zoho One for startups in Saudi Arabia http://bit.ly/2ONUgsa

Long Reads

Fintech in Francophone Africa (including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria) http://bit.ly/2UnL1nP 

Cleantech in MENA by Arzan VC http://bit.ly/2WBNKYc 

BECO Capital‘s Investment Periodic Table http://bit.ly/2OPMTjT

Magnitt’s Startup Ecosystem in the Arab World WEF Report http://bit.ly/2UqsO9g


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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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