This is the second series of regional startups whose business models and modus operandi were robust enough to attract millions in funding from private investors.
Dubai-based start-up Udrive has closed a $5 million funding round as it seeks to hasten its growth over the next 12 months.
The car-sharing app aims to double its fleet size over the next few months and has set a target of 500% revenue growth over the next 12 months, it said recently.
Udrive plans to reach 1,000 vehicles by the end of 2021, up from 500 vehicles currently, it said.
As the UAE adopts a hybrid work model and prepares to host an influx of visitors to the Expo 2020 Dubai world fair in October, the company is expecting increased demand for its services.
The company secured $2.5 mn in a seed round last year before raising $1.3 mn from Eureeca, the Dubai-based equity crowdfunding platform, last January 2021allowing the company’s valuation to reach $20 mn.
Udrive plans to use the funds to accelerate its growth across the UAE and enter the Saudi market and the MENA over the next six months.
The company will also invest in improving the data analytics capabilities of its platform and providing customers with more transparency concerning their trips, a better understanding of pricing models, and potentially lower fees.
2- Yodawy: Egypt
Yodawy, a leading Egyptian online pharmacy benefits marketplace, has successfully raised $7.5 mn in Series B funding.
Founded in 2018, Yodawy has pioneered a pharmacy benefit management platform that enables the entire healthcare ecosystem, from insurance companies to pharmacies, and pharmaceutical/FMCGs, to serve a wider customer base faster.
Patients can have their medicines and personal care products delivered in less than 45 minutes. Insurance companies can automate approvals, generating cost savings and elevate the customer’s experience. Pharmacies can benefit from Yodawy’s e-commerce offering, reinforcing their online presence and boosting sales.
Over the last four years, Yodawy has rapidly integrated over 3,000 pharmacies and 8 leading health insurance companies. With over 2 million users on its platform, Yodawy fulfilled over 800,000 orders.
3- Biconomy- UAE
Biconomy, a blockchain transaction platform with Indian founders and with offices in Dubai, recently announced that it has raised $9 mn in a private funding round.
Biconomy was founded in 2019. To date, it has raised $10.5 mn. Biconomy has already processed over 3.6 million main net transactions representing $572 mn in transaction volume for 30+ live integrations on all major chains. They are also on a trajectory with over 200 dApp integrations in the pipeline.
The core of Biconomy’s mission is to facilitate decentralized blockchain interactions. By enabling use cases such as gasless transactions, gas payments in ERC20 tokens, instant cross-chain transactions and easy onboarding to scaling solutions, Biconomy reduces the friction between blockchain-based applications and end-users.
The new round of funding will enable Biconomy to propel its multi-chain transaction infrastructure for next-generation Web 3.0 applications.
In addition to new funding, Biconomy is also gearing up to launch its native token $BICO as part of decentralizing their multi-chain infrastructure.
4- Elmenus: Egypt
Cairo-based food discovery, ordering, and delivery platform Elmenus has raised $10 mn in pre-Series C funds, it recently announced.
The round takes the total capital raised to date by the Egyptian startup to about $20 mn.
Founded in 2011, Elmenus helps people discover and order food from over 12,000 restaurants in Egypt. The startup had originally started as a food discovery platform and expanded into delivery with its own fleet, a little over 18 months ago. Its food ordering business has grown over 4 times in the last year, according to MENAbytes.
The platform currently serves 1.5 million users in Egypt.
Elmenus aims to use the funds to expand to more cities in Egypt and personalize the ordering and delivery experience for its customers.
5- Nejree- Saudi
Saudi-based fashion e-commerce platform Nejree has raised $15 mn in a Series A round taking the company’s total financing to over $19 mn.
Founded in 2018, Nejree started as an online retailer for sneakers but now also sells apparel. The web and mobile-based platform features products for men, women, and kids, from leading international brands, including.
It’s latest offering, Nejree Closet, enables customers to try the products at their homes before they buy them. The service that’s being termed as try-now-buy-later (TNBL) by the Saudi platform is available for free for customers and aims to make the purchase decision easier.
It addresses most of the concerns of customers associated with online shopping of apparel and shoes; including fit-size issues, and feel-look-quality of the products.
Since the launch of the new offering over three months ago, Nejree Closet has shipped at least 100,000 products for try-on and seen growth of over 50% in average order value and conversation rate during this period.