A weekly round up of the top headlines from the digital sector in MENA, covering startups, corporate and public sector news.
Investments & Acquisitions
Yahaal, Kuwaiti Childcare eCommerce App, raises funding at $3.5M valuation https://goo.gl/ZextZe
Holidayme, Dubai HQ travel bookings, merges with Malaysia based Tripfez, together raising $16M in Series C https://goo.gl/PFjcFG
Swvl, Egypt’s bus hailing app, raises Series B at $100M valuation and plans to expand to East Asia https://goo.gl/arsLri
Impact Guru, India’s healthcare crowdfunding platform, receives investment from Shorooq Investment and angel investors, plans expansion to UAE https://goo.gl/cjX5dm
Bahrain and Shenzhen sign 12+ landmark agreements to deepen economic ties covering artificial intelligence, fintech and investment strategies https://goo.gl/EXtrwx, among which Bahrain EDB signed an MOU with Jolly Chic https://goo.gl/Q1UAuY
Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) to sell its 60.50% stake in Panther Media Group Limited, otherwise known as OSN revealing a 70% drop in Q3 revenues https://goo.gl/WLUHm3
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) launches GCC chapter https://goo.gl/UHsnVS
Careem (with TransAD / Integrated Transport Center) https://goo.gl/xbbBbR and Uber (with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport) https://goo.gl/Grri7V relaunch in Abu Dhabi, with deals that allow Emirati’s to sign up with their private cars
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) competition for sustainable smart homes launches showcase of 15 houses (you can visit till the 28th) https://goo.gl/c2dJtj
Softbank’s Vision Fund to open office in India https://goo.gl/cU73Ym
WorldBank’s Ease of Doing Business Report in MENA capitals https://goo.gl/7SSekm
Wamda releases “Tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia“ Report https://goo.gl/3pdSbJ
Can Working Smart & Local Compete With Global Giants Burning Investor Money
This was the title of the last two posts I have written about the alarm bells that ring every time a regional startup goes head-to-head with a global player.
Last week Spotify rolled out to 13 countries in MENA, spurring the doom-sayers to declare the years of Anghami growth a waste. Also, the rumor mill of a looming Uber acquisition of Careem escalated (yet again) as talks of the imminent IPO nears.
Read them here:
There will be, and are already, many global startups expanding to the region, however, they would not come if they do not see successful local companies paving the way and showing them the ropes.
They do not understand the market more than regional startups, but they can burn a lot of investor cash on the way, so be ready for more marathons to come 😉
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