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5 new Arab SMEs raise funds and 3 Arab startups to watch

Arab startups are more and more successful at raising funds for their business innovations and last November leading into December saw 5 more amassing millions of dollars.

UAE-based Brand Ripplr has successfully raised $1 million in a Series A funding round UAE on-demand storage company Boxit secured its second funding round, raising $1.6 million over the past year Algante's flagship algorithms replace human wealth management with an AI solution customized to each user

Arab startups are more and more successful at raising funds for their business innovations and last November leading into December saw 5 more amassing millions of dollars.

Additionally, 3 new startups emerged and could be worth keeping a close eye on.

Here we go. 

Read: UAE-based delivery startup Quiqup secures $5.5 million in recent funding round, led by Delivery Hero

Brand Ripplr- UAE

UAE-based Brand Ripplr has successfully raised $1 million in a Series A funding round. The new capital will be used to fuel the startup’s expansion plan across the region, including KSA.

Launched in 2017, Brand Ripplr is an influencer marketing platform connecting brands with over 55,000 content creators and reaches an audience of over 300 million consumers in MENA across major social media channels. It offers a front-to-end management solution to a growing portfolio of over 75 clients, which ranges from leading brands such as Pepsi, Etisalat, Nestle, and Uber.

The startup utilizes big data to allow clients to execute influencer marketing by identifying and activating the region’s most impactful social media creators. 

The company is venturing to new areas like e-sports organizations, gamers, and streamers. 

HubPay- UAE

HubPay will receive $20,000 in grant funding from Metlife Foundation. Hubpay has raised funds in a Seed round on Apr 20, 2020. Hubpay is funded by 2 investors. Signal Peak Ventures and Falcon Network are the most recent investors.

Hubpay is a developer of an e-wallet remittance platform designed to increase financial inclusion in emerging markets. The company’s platform provides low-cost remittance services with no hidden fees, enabling users to send money safely at any time.

Hubpay has also joined the Visa Fast Track program, with an aim to leverage Visa’s payment infrastructure and further scale the business.  

The UAE is the third-largest market for remittances globally, with $44 billion worth of payments made in 2019. 

Wuilt- Egypt

Egyptian startup Wuilt, a SaaS Arabic website builder where users can create their own professional websites in five minutes, has raised a $535,000 seed round to help it launch an e-commerce platform and expand to Saudi Arabia.

Co-founded by Ahmed Rostom, Mohamed Hegazy, and Mahmoud Metwaly last year, Wuilt is a website-building platform that enables even those with few technical skills to easily create and manage their Arabic website. 

The company currently serves over 30,000 users in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 

Boxit-UAE

UAE-headquartered on-demand storage company Boxit, has secured its second funding round. The startup has raised a total of $1.6 million over the past year.

Founded in 2016, Boxit looks to disrupt the traditional self-storage model. It enables its users to store their belongings in secured storage facilities and pay for the volume they occupy without having to visit a storage unit themselves.

The company was started in Kuwait and has recently expanded to the UAE. Back in September 2017, Boxit’s Kuwaiti strategic investors acquired a significant majority stake in the company to fuel its growth in Kuwait as well as set the stage for its expansion to other GCC countries. 

Despite the current economic instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company claims to have achieved a compound annual growth rate of over 160% in Q3, quarter on quarter.  

In 2016, Boxit received a $600,000 seed round led by Wamda.  

Exclusive: UAE, MENA startups can access 3000+ investors and millions in funds for under $40

tabby 

tabby (tabby.ai), the leading UAE and KSA-based BNPL provider announced that it has raised Series A financing of $23 mn in debt and equity led by Arbor Ventures and Mubadala Capital. 

This funding will fuel the company’s next stage of growth. 

tabby has managed to successfully capitalize on three key COVID-driven trends that have helped fuel its growth: the dwindling availability of consumer credit, the adoption of contactless payments, and the rapid retail shift online. 

According to a report by Kearney Middle East, the average share of GCC households that have bought goods online has reached over 8% in 2020. Given the range in developed markets sits at 16 to 25%, there is significant room for growth. 

This digital shift is also seen offline, with mobile payments for POS transactions in KSA having grown 495% for the past year until September, according to Saudi Payments. 

tabby integrates directly into merchant checkouts or POS systems, instantly providing consumers a way to pay for their purchases with only 25% of the transaction value paid at the time of purchase and the remainder automatically charged over 3 monthly installments. 

tabby does not charge its customers any interest or fees as long as they pay on time and monetizes primarily by charging merchants a commission on sales generated via its platform.

3 new Arab startups to follow

17 successful start-ups from the fourth cohort of DIFC FinTech Hive accelerator program, are set to showcase this year’s most innovative technologies to a virtual audience of investors, industry leaders, and the initiative’s financial and knowledge partners. DIFC is now home to more than 240 FinTech related firms. They represent over 50% of all FinTech entities in the GCC 

Of these, we will look at 3 Arab startups below.

Algante, UAE

Harnessing the potential of advanced artificial intelligence to manage public market portfolios, Algante’s flagship algorithms replace human wealth management with an Artificial Intelligence solution customized to each user, taking into account their financial and personal goals and constraints.

Receet, Palestine

Receet issues contactless digital receipts pushed instantly to consumers’ smartphones with no email address or phone number required.

Reem Takaful, UAE

Reem Takaful enables halal, ethical, and inclusive risk coverage for farmers who are exposed to the perils of crop and livelihood losses due to climate change and other external factors.