Startup Minute News
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October 01, 2019
Beirut-Based Startups Jellyfish and Smart Budget Win the Startup Roadshow Semi-Finals;
First blockchain system launched by UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention to provide coverage for healthcare workers across public and private healthcare facilities;
Teacherly raises $1 million seed to reinvent teacher collaboration and communication;
Google search can now point you to the exact part of a video you need;
Starbucks Japan is selling pens with built-in NFC wallets;
Facebook introduces Portal TV, a video chat camera accessory for your television! Watch on..
September 23, 2019
Coin M - A Gold-Based Cryptocurrency to launch in the UAE;
Souq.com becomes the first to offer same-day delivery in Saudi Arabia;
Localized, a new talent tech company, closes $1.2 M in funding to unlock educated talent for global companies;
Careem expands payments offering with Mobile Recharge feature within the Careem PAY wallet across Egypt and Pakistan and the UAE with Jordan to follow soon;
Flying taxi startup Volocopter raises $55 million in round led by Volvo parent Geely;
YouTube launches Its Music Streaming Services in the Middle East and North Africa market! Watch on..
September 10, 2019
UAE fintech startup Foloosi raises $500K in a SEED funding round;
Egyptian fintech startup NowPay closes $600K in SEED funding from Silicon Valley’s Endure Capital and 500 Startups;
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to introduce Hala and make all 10,000 of its taxis available to book through Careem’s app;
Apple Music launches on the web;
Facebook Dating launches in the United States nearly a year after it began testing in Colombia;
Porsche unveils the Taycan, its first fully electric sports car;
Netflix releases trailer for its first music competition series, starring Cardi B, TI, and Chance the Rapper titled Rhythm + Flow! Watch on..
September 04, 2019
Educational toys startup founded by Lebanese female entrepreneur LittleBits, gets acquired by Sphero;
Egyptian RiseUp acquires online startup and technology media platform MENAbytes;
Trella, Cairo-based trucking marketplace, joins Y Combinator’s S19 batch;
Saudi’s Nana Direct closes $6.6 million Series A for its online grocery platform co-led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Impact46 with participation from Wamda Capital, Watar Partners, and Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC);
PUBG is getting cross-play for Xbox One and PS4 in October!
August 23, 2019
Online dating giant Match Group acquires Egyptian startup Harmonica, marriage matchmaking app and the first major exit for Flat6Labs;
Chinese phone brand Oppo pushes iPhones into fourth place in global sales charts for handsets, Samsung remains in first place and Huawei comes in second;
Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) invests $2M in Bykea, a Pakistan-Based on-demand transport, logistics, and payments startup;
Verizon is selling its blogging website Tumblr to the owner of popular online-publishing tool WordPress for less than $3 million, according to Axios, a stunning drop in value from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it in 2013;
Huawei’s new operating system is called HarmonyOS;
Game of Thrones creators sign $200 million Netflix deal to make exclusive shows and films! Watch on..
August 15, 2019
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, a leading UAE banking group, partners with Silicon Valley's Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, to enable new ways of adapting digital transformation;
Batelco, a Bahrain Telecommunication Company, launches Summer Entrepreneurship Program for university students and young professionals in collaboration with BRINC Batelco IoT Hub;
Bahrain’s Rain closes $2.5 million seed round and becomes the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East;
Egyptian fintech MoneyFellows raises over $1m investment from 500 Startups, Dubai Angel Investors, and Phoenician Funds;
French inventor successfully crosses the English Channel on a hoverboard;
The Matrix is returning to theaters to celebrate its 20th anniversary! Watch on..
August 13, 2019
Egyptian digital payment firm Fawry sets IPO price at $0.3906;
Saudi based e-commerce enablement startup Zid, raises $2M pre-series A investment led by Elm VC;
Muzmatch, a dating app for Muslims raises $7 million Series A, led by Luxor Capital, a multi-billion dollar US hedge fund and Y Combinator, to help them find a life partner;
Dubai-based property management startup HiGuests closes a $1.1 million investment led by a leading Spanish real estate player Forcadell, announces expansion to Spain;
Disney is breaking records with the best box office year in history;
Spider-Man: Far From Home is the latest Marvel movie to hit $1 billion at the box office! Watch on..
August 05, 2019
Coding education company CODED raises $1.3 million Pre-series A funding to teach the Arab world coding led by KISP Ventures with participation from 500 Startups, Sirdab Labs, Sharq Capital, Sijam Ventures, and Abdullah Al-Zabin;
Careem’s food delivery service “Careem NOW” launches its delivery services in the holy city of Mecca;
Noon.com partners with Chinese technology company Neolix to bring driverless delivery vehicles to Dubai;
Clara, a London-headquartered legal tech startup that was born in Dubai, raises $2 million seed funding from Techstars, 500 Startups, Wamda Capital, VentureSouq, Delta Partners, Shorooq Investment, and Dubai Angel Investors, to digitize legal assistance for startups across the world;
Uber is testing an all-in-one monthly subscription for rides, eats, bikes, and scooters for $24.99 per month;
Avengers: Endgame finally passes Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time;
Natalie Portman will take up Thor’s hammer in Thor: Love and Thunder. Watch on..
July 28, 2019
Great news for Saudi youth as Mawhiba signs agreement with Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives to support and develop young Saudi talent;
LUNCH:ON ranked in Crunchbase’s Top 50 Hot Tech Companies Globally, making LUNCH:ON the only company from the region to receive this recognition;
Washmen, the Dubai-based mobile-native dry cleaning and laundry service, has raised 6.2M$ Series-B round led by AddVenture with participation from Cedar Mundi Ventures, Henkel and others to solidify its operations in the UAE and expand its digital technology hub in Lebanon;
Dubai’s FlexxPay raises investment to offer salary advances to employees on behalf of their employers, and the payments are made through Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank;
Lebanese Shopify-like ecommerce management platform ‘Ecomz’ raises $4 million Series A led by local VC Cedar Mundi Ventures and joined by iSME Lebanon, a government led funding initiative, and BLC Bank;
Kuwaiti beauty ecommerce startup Boutiqaat doubles valuation to $500 million in 18 months with latest investment, with this valuation and Uber’s acquisition of Careem, Boutiqaat with Property Finder is now the most valuable technology startup of the Middle East & North Africa;
COFE App, Kuwait’s beloved online coffee marketplace app, has partnered with LinkedIn, the world’s foremost professional networking site, to attract global talent;
PepsiCo is planning to replace its plastic bottles of Aquafina with aluminum cans at locations around the U.S.
Watch the first trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan!
July 21, 2019
Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq to receive up to $1bn in financial commitments from the World Bank; UAE-based premium ride sharing startup Careem signs a deal with Etisalat and Snapit Digital to let car passengers enjoy free unlimited WiFi in their rides; Dubai plans to make most of the limo fleets of Uber and Careem eco-friendly by 2026; Arabic Karaoke App Ghinwa helps MENA's singers unleash their full potential online; Beirut-based insurtech BSynchro raises $1 million from Lebanon’s Berytech and Phoenician Funds as they look to transition insurance related companies into the digital world in a speedy and affordable way; Jordan’s Faylasof raises $500,000 Pre-Series A funding from Saudi-based Wise Ventures for its online bookstore; Dubai’s Zbooni raises $1.1 million from Chalhoub Group and B&Y Venture Partners to help businesses sell over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp & Instagram; Dubai’s Sprii raises $8.5 million Series A for its web and mobile-based baby products ecommerce marketplace; Hopi, a yet-to-be-launched Dubai-based direct-to-consumer subscription contact lens startup raises seed funding; Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Check out the final trailer! It comes out August 2nd. Watch on..
June 30, 2019
Application deadline is approaching for the Forward KSA Accelerator program by AstroLabs, if your startup has significant traction and at least 1 Saudi (co-)founder then you are eligible to apply ; BeyondCapital was awarded $450K from Mercy Corps to collaborate and invest in rising early-stage start-ups in Jordan ; STEP Group, organizers of the annual technology festival, STEP Conference, has launched Dreamers, a platform dedicated to preparing children with skills needed to succeed for the jobs of tomorrow ; Careem enters micro-mobility space with acquisition of Cyacle, the UAE-based bikeshare company ; Emirates NBD, one of the biggest banking groups in the region, has recently opened a Virtual Reality (VR) Academy to make their employees more efficient through an engaging and intuitive learning experience ; Eksab, the leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in MENA and the GCC, raises seed investment from 500 Startups as it looks to capitalize on the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations being hosted in Egypt for the first time in more than a decade ; Amazon Prime has launched in the UAE and is available to customers for AED16 ($4.4) per month, or AED140 ($38) per year ; Domino's Pizza, the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, and Nuro, the robotics company transforming local commerce, are partnering on autonomous pizza delivery pilot in Houston ; Orcas, the mobile application that connects parents and students with tutors and babysitters, has raised $500K in a pre-Series A funding round led by Algebra Ventures, Egypt’s leading VC fund, with participation from NFX Capital ; Tenderd, a heavy equipment rental marketplace for the construction industry in the MENA region, has launched with the region’s largest seed funding round of $5.8 million from a spectrum of high profile San Francisco and international investors ; The Hunger Games is getting a prequel next year that takes place 64 years before the first book, set for release on May 19th, 2020. Watch on..
June 12, 2019
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid with Good News! ‘Golden Card’ for Permanent Visa Residents ; Jordan Introduced its 1st Agritech Accelerator HASSAD supported by ITG Solutions ; Oasis500, one of the leading investment companies and business accelerators based in Jordan announces a seed round of investment in Jordanian Sportech startup DigitaSport ; Trukkin raises $3.5 million becoming the leading truck aggregator in the GCC ; Egyptian foodtech startup Yumamia raises a Pre-Series A $1.5M investment round, plans expansion to Saudi ; Google integrates food delivery services into Search, Maps and Assistant & partners with delivery companies like DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice and ChowNow ; In Ford’s future, two-legged robots and self-driving cars could team up on deliveries partnering with ; Arnold Schwarzenegger said he’d be back in the first Terminator movie back in 1984 and 35 years later, that’s come true, again. There’s another Terminator movie on its way, "Terminator: Dark Fate" will hit theaters on November 1st. Watch on..
June 05, 2019
Great demand from investors and entrepreneurs for long-term visas in UAE ; Saudi Arabia approves a Green Card-style system to issue residence permits for highly-skilled and wealthy foreign nationals ; Discover Egypt’s first fashion incubator program tailored to Egyptian fashion entrepreneurs' needs ; Cairo-based fintech startup XPay raises $250,000 pre-seed to enable universities, residential compounds and other communities go cashless ; Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has acquired Wadi.com the Saudi online grocery delivery platform ; Dubai’s The Luxury Closet has raised $2.3 million in fresh funds led by Knuru Capital, a newly established Abu Dhabi based VC, to close its growth funding round with $11 million (the first closing was led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), and joined by Wamda Capital, Precinct Partners, TechInvest, Saned, and Equitrust), also acquires Hong Kong-based Guiltless ; Careem, the Dubai ride-hailing platform that was bought by Uber for $3.1 billion, plans to revolutionize mass transportation across Saudi Arabia with the launch of a bus service from Jeddah to Makkah, following the success of Careem Bus in Egypt last December ; Netflix takes on ‘Project Runway’ with new competition series Next in Fashion ; Spotify is test driving a car hardware thing called ‘Car Thing’. Watch on..
May 30, 2019
Entrepreneurship rising in Jordan - the Kingdom announces the first Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship in the region ; Cairo-based sports data startup ArqamFC gets acquired by UK’s StatsBomb ; Coffee on demand! COFE App signs an exclusive partnership deal with Deliveroo ; Egyptian digital marketplace for auto spare parts, Odiggo, raises $180,000 seed fund from Saudi-Based angel investor ; Google Podcasts comes to iOS and desktop as Google now lists playable podcasts in search results ; With new Fit technology that uses AR to help you find the right fit for your sneakers, Nike calls itself a tech company ; Louis Vuitton’s flexible-screen handbags are the definition of extra ; Netflix acquires StoryBots children’s brand ; The trailer Netflix has dropped for sci-fi thriller 'I Am Mother' will have you wondering which character to trust in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are supposed to be done for. Watch on..
May 18, 2019
Zain Bahrain, a leading telecommunication services provider in the kingdom, has joined forces with Alkeri Partners to launch the ‘Zainnovate’ initiative aimed at supporting the Bahraini startup ecosystem ; DHL, the global brand in the logistics industry has launched Saloodo! in the Middle East, to provide a digital platform that connects shippers and transport providers for road freight needs within the UAE ; Oman's eMushrif, which turns ordinary school buses into smart buses to make sure that children are safe, raises $1 million pre-Series A funding ; Kitab Sawti, the world’s largest Arabic audiobook platform, has raised USD 6 million in Series A funding from prominent new and existing investors ; Car rentals in UAE stronger than ever as UDrive, the app-based pay-per-minute car rental service, announces $5M Series B funding round to accelerate growth and increase the number of premium cars in its fleet - including Mercedes, Audi and Mustang models ; Souq.com becomes Amazon.ae! The world’s largest e-commerce platform is now giving Middle Eastern users access to its gigantic catalogue ; Deliveroo and McDonald’s UAE complete the UAE’s first ever hot air balloon delivery to a Dubai desert safari ; A new trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” has just been released! Watch on..
May 10, 2019
Searchie, Arabnet's Startup Battle Dubai winner, raised $2M to continue changing the face of recruitment and the way companies retain and develop their talent ; Mashkor, a new app that is now trending in Kuwait and transforming the way local shopping and local courier happens in the region ; Toronto-based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry startup Mejuri, founded by a Jordanian entrepreneur, has raised $23 million in Series B led by New Enterprise Associates, one of the leading and oldest American VC firm ; Ex-Careem GM has raised seed funding for his Saudi-based Sary, an on-demand wholesale grocery platform, to disrupt wholesale market ; Samsung's vertical Sero TV brings Insta Stories to a big screen!! Samsung has unveiled "The Sero," a 43-inch quantum-dot QLED TV with an attention-grabbing gimmick. It can be flipped around 90 degrees, letting you watch Instagram, Snap and other smartphone videos in their native vertical configurations ; The latest trailer for Men in Black: International is almost exclusively moments of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson goofing around with sci-fi tech. And to keep the movie from (somehow) getting too serious, it seems that a tiny alien voiced by Kumail Nanjiani will be following them around pretty much the entire journey. The film comes out on June 14th. Watch on..
April 29, 2019
Bahrain’s Inagrab raises investment for Dalooni, a mobile platform that connects businesses with independent sales agents ; Affectiva, an Emotion AI startup founded by American-Egyptian entrepreneur, raises $26 million ; In cooperation with the Kuwait Economic Society, "COFE App will go global", says Zev Siegl, Starbucks Co-founder at the launch of COFE 3.0 (COFE App is an online coffee-centric marketplace mobile application conceptualized in Kuwait and developed in Silicon Valley to connect coffee house chains and specialty coffee roasters with coffee lovers through a seamless, easy and efficient user-interface) ; Tired of doing laundry? Meet LaundryMan, an on-demand app providing the finest hassle-free and affordable laundry and dry-cleaning service in Dubai ; Seeders - IM Capital Co-Invest in Handiss, a web platform that connects construction & consulting companies with quality freelance engineers and architects, at competitive prices, in a timely manner, while facilitating secure payment between parties ; Zain Bahrain continues to support local startups as it relaunches its initiative "5ameesna Zain" which has provided a solid platform for small businesses to increase their customer reach by providing them with opportunities to showcase their products to new audiences ; Supernatural Arabs: Trailer of Middle East's first-ever Netflix series is here. Watch on..
April 22, 2019
Food delivery startup LUNCH:ON has secured a total of $5.5m in funding after adding a further $2.5m in the final closing of its Series A round ; Egyptian AI startup, MerQ, has closed its seed funding round to develop its products, mainly Sally, a chatbot through Facebook that introduces Egyptians to all credit card systems within the country ; Saudi-based mobile-only fresh fruits and vegetables ecommerce platform Haseel has raised an undisclosed sum of investment but it is safe to assume that it’s a seven-figure USD considering the investors involved ; Dubai-based eyewear e-commerce startup in the Middle East, eyewa has successfully closed a $7.5 million (approximately AED20 million) Series A funding round in order to further expand its operations ; Shedul, the Dubai-born booking platform for salons and spas backed by MEVP since its inception has successfully raised a $20M Series B funding round, valuing the company at $105 million ; Uber's potential IPO is expected to be one of the 10 largest in US history ; PointCheckout, an online payment method for reward points and miles, has closed a seed round of $600K to allow users to pay with their reward points and miles online at over 1,000 leading online merchants across the MENA region ; The final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy finally has a name (previously only known as “Star Wars Episode IX”): “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be released on December 20, 2019. Watch on..
April 15, 2019
The prominent human rights' lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney was just appointed UK Special Envoy For Media Freedom ; His Majesty King Abdullah meets a group of young Jordanian entrepreneurs ; Microsoft confirms you really, really don’t need to ‘safely remove’ USB flash drives anymore ; ArabyAds secures USD 6.5 Million in funding from Equitrust, the investment arm of Choueiri Group ; Algerian edtech startup Quizzito won the pitch competition at first edition of STEP Saudi ; Oliv, the UAE-based careers platform connecting employers with young talent, has closed $2 million Series A funding round ; Batman’s greatest nemesis “Joker” hits theaters October 4, check out the official trailer! Watch on..
April 7, 2019
SHE CAN 2019, launched by Entreprenelle, turns the focus on failures in entrepreneurship to empower Egypt's female entrepreneurs ; Egyptian e-sports company GBarena raises seed funding ; Refugees with innovative ideas in Canada can now apply to the Jumpstart Program ; Gmail turns 15, gets Smart Compose improvements and email scheduling ; Fodel raises $2.6 million in pre-Series A ; Impossible Foods and Burger King are launching an Impossible Whopper ; Nadine Labaki will be the first ever Arab president of the Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes! Watch on..
April 1, 2019
Female Entrepreneurs in MENA: Womena Has Just Opened their Accelerator’s Second Round ; The 5 biggest announcements from Apple’s March event ; With a $3.1 billion valuation, Careem has made history by being the largest tech exit in the Middle East ; Jordanian online Arabic book retailer Jamalon raised Series B funding round of more than $10M ; Ibtikar Fund Announces Investment in Receet ; Oprah will release two documentaries on Apple TV Plus along with a new book club! Watch on..
March 24, 2019
AIM Startup 2019 3rd Edition is taking place in Dubai on 8-10 April at the Dubai World Trade Centre ; Uber releases list of 'Lost & Found' in MENA region ; Samsung rewards 10 graduates of its sponsored Youth Empowerment Programs in Lebanon ; OLX unveils its annual “Most searched for items” report for 2018 ; Maker Faire is happening in Lebanon for the First Time & Tickets are now available online or at any Virgin Ticketing Box Office ; Egyptian actor makes perfect Aladdin in trailer & the internet loves it! Watch on..
March 17, 2019
The She’s Entrepreneur event, an inspiring initiative by Makhzoumi Foundation, happened last week ; Zomato sells UAE business to Delivery Hero ; Uber in talks to acquire Careem for $3 billion ; Anghami now has over 21 million MAUs (monthly active users), 1 million paying subscribers and it’s not afraid of competition from Spotify or Deezer ; Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon visited Beirut for a special screening of Soufra, a film based on the inspiring true story of Mariam Sha'ar, a Palestinian refugee-turned-businesswoman ; Forbes Magazine enchanted the world this week with the news of U.S. reality TV star Kylie Jenner becoming the world's "youngest self-made billionaire" ... ever. Watch on!
March 7, 2019
The She’s Entrepreneur event, an inspiring initiative by Makhzoumi Foundation is taking place on Saturday the 9th of March about female entrepreneurship; Maroun N. Chammas Recognition Award Winners announced; Facebook, Instagram sue China-based firms over sales of fake accounts; Total Liban Announced the Winners of the Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge; foldable phones eclipsed 5G at MWC and more.. Watch on!
March 1, 2019
Calling for Startups: this is your last chance to participate in the VivaTech Challenges and win your booth at the biggest tech event in Europe, Lebanese investment banker Ziad Hayek got nominated to become the next president of the World Bank, SGBL & Mastercard joining forces again to invest in the future of basketball in Lebanon, Red Bull Jump & Freeze has hit the slopes of Mzaar Kfardebian Ski Resort, renowned fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld passed away in Paris at the age of 85, applications open for Speed Lebanon's acceleration program and more.. Watch on!
February 19, 2019
Agri-Food Innovation Day happened in Biel, Berytech and USJ launched the coaching transformation program, 15 teams were selected for the next stage of Startupper of the year challenge by Total, Global Game Jam and more... Watch on!