MENA’s Digital News, Week #29

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

Investments & Acquisitions

Jumia raises $196M in New York Stock Exchange IPO http://bit.ly/2X9ueT6 

Inagrab, Bahrain based B2B analytics, raises follow-on funding from Faith Capital http://bit.ly/2Gmq2sj 

Foodics, Saudi cloud POS for F&B, raises bridge investment from Faith Capital (also) http://bit.ly/2UGBk4W

MerQ, Egypt AI, closes seed round at $800k valuation http://bit.ly/2VGJtTg 

Lunchon closes Series A funding at $5.5M http://bit.ly/2Devm0p 

Eyewa, Dubai-based eye wear ecommerce, raises $7.5M in Series A led by Wamda Capital, along with GS shop, Equitrust (Choueiri Group), 500 Startups and Faith Capital http://bit.ly/2IuJNAN 

Fordeal, Chinese cross-border global eCommerce platform, raised “tens of millions of dollars” in Series C funding from Chinese investors http://bit.ly/2ZcIxrR

Property Finder acquires Bahraini property portal ‘Bahrain Property World’ http://bit.ly/2v9eRhH 

Sector News

Arabic Added To Amazon Polly Text-To-Speech Cloud Service http://bit.ly/2DjYZgU

Aramex Inaugurates New e-Commerce Fulfillment Center in Dubai http://bit.ly/2UHMwhq

W Motors, Dubai based premium car manufacturer, to launch the region’s first “Automotive Academy” http://bit.ly/2DjUyTg

Drees & Sommer, international construction and real estate consultancy, has launched a Dubai-based innovation hub http://bit.ly/2XegIO8 

Uber Eats launches in Dammam, Eastern Province Saudi http://bit.ly/2Ukcti1 

Workz Group, Dubai-based mobile & IoT solutions provider, expands into EU with Dublin HQ http://bit.ly/2Kywcet

Anghami expands subscription to include video content – starting with Game of Thrones. http://bit.ly/2DgLMFm 

Long Reads

Mintrics Launches Online Video Analytics Report for Ramadan http://bit.ly/2VQhlgF

CrowdAnalyzer launches annual State of Social Media 2019 Report http://bit.ly/2VNwhMi 

Recently Read:

Technically Wrong

Technically Wrong by Sara Wachter-Boettcher. The challenge of tomorrow is that Artificial Intelligence is being built on the premise that today’s world is perfect and has all the answers, not on the conscious realization that we need to make the world a better, more “fair” place to live. That’s primarily because the majority of the engineers and decision makers behind AI are not subject to the abject discrimination and social ailments that the rest of the society is doomed for.

If we ever need to be afraid of AI, I would be fear the people developing and strategizing it, not the technology itself. We have seen that with drones, drugs, and chemicals, today it’s “artificial intelligence”

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Subscribed: A Roundup of Newsletters I Enjoy

I started a “newsletter” of sorts last year on this blog, every week I round up the top news and readings about, or related to, the digital scene in MENA into a post and publish it. It’s non-biased, non-promotional, and straight to the point.

Why weekly and not daily? The rate of “new” things to cover in MENA is doesn’t justify a daily newsletter yet, however you can get your dose 3-6 headlines a daily on the telegram channel that sparked it.

I am however inspired by many newsletters that I have and continue to read daily, weekly or monthly:

The Hustle

Probably the best written newsletter ever. I rave to people about the precise, funny and informative daily newsletter and have read almost every single one for the past… almost 3 years now. (broke my streak only when I changed emails from work to personal)

Don’t believe me, check out their latest Sunday “long” feature about “Why gym memberships probably aren’t worth the money“.

Give a try

Big Revolution by Martin Bryant

It’s so easy to slip on big news when your travel across time zones, get stuck in meetings all day and simply getting things done. This daily news letter is a good check on hot news that matter (globally). Martin’s “food for thought” pieces have been the inspiration behind the snippets (or mini blogs) I have been writing up in the weekly roundups

Give a try, and maybe support if you enjoy it as well

Sharing Dealflow by Eamonn Carey

I don’t invest in startups myself, but I love the variety, careful selection and honesty of the newsletter. A good measure of who’s raising funding in the early stage scene (US, UK and EU). If these are markets you’re looking to invest in, definitely worth subscribing to.

Give it a try. Also read Eamonn year summary for a great overview

Boston Consulting Group

Yes, that same BCG. From Management to Technology, the research, insights and case studies have kept me engaged for a while now. I don’t read every single piece, they are quite long reads, but my Pocket account is stacked with saved ones for a rainy day. The research pieces are also quite unique.

There are a few subscription options, these are the ones I’m subscribed to:

You can select the industries and business topics you’re interested in to narrow down the content to your liking

You do have a to create a small no-fuss account to subscribe, but… Give it a try

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Would you be interested in getting the weekly round up to your inbox as a newsletter rather than a blog? Let me know on @__racha or subscribe to the MENA Digital News Channel on Telegram and ping me there