This is the fourth series of regional startups whose business models and modus operandi were robust enough to attract millions in funding from private investors.
1- WeDeliver: Saudi
WeDeliver, a Saudi-based startup focusing on delivery services, has raised $2.4 million in pre-seed funding.
WeDeliver, which connects businesses with delivery needs to individual drivers, will use the funding to expand its operations in various countries in the MENA region.
The startup uses technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to connect businesses that have parcels to be delivered thanks to freelance drivers and a mobile app. It does not employ any drivers or own any warehouses.
With the WeDeliver mobile app, businesses can request a driver and have their package delivered anywhere in Saudi. It also offers all parties in the delivery process real-time tracking updates to keep up with the status and location of the items.
WeDeliver has tripled its revenues in the past few months and achieved double-digit growth rates every month since its launch, the company said.
2- Sabbar: Saudi
Sabbar, a Saudi-based tech startup and a pioneer in flexible staffing in the MENA, has raised a $4 mn pre-series A round.
Hiring and staffing blue-collar workers in high turnover industries such as retail, hospitality, and entertainment is a big pain point in the region, as they often see 70% employee turnover rates. Sabbar looks to streamline this lengthy and cumbersome process, which typically includes sourcing, interviews, vetting, training, placement, shift scheduling, worker payments, and everything in between.
Founded in early 2019, the platform has been able to achieve a monthly growth rate of 40%, fulfilling shifts for over 150 customers, while ensuring high-quality workers with an on-time arrival rate of 96.8%.
Currently, the platform is able to deploy workers to businesses within a 60-min window from the request time and maintain a fulfillment rate reliability of 98%.
Sabbar aims to capture an $11 billion market of temporary blue-collar staffing across the MENA and Pakistan. Sabbar is also expanding its scope to cover warehousing, logistics, and tourism industries.
3- Baraka: UAE
Dubai-based fintech Baraka has raised $4 mn in a seed round. The round takes the total capital raised to date by the company to $5 mn.
Founded in 2020, Baraka has been building an ecosystem to makes investments in US securities easy and accessible for retail investors in the Middle East. Until now, it had been educating users through an investment academy and content.
Today, it has launched its commission-free mobile investment app that enables users in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait, to invest in 5,000 US-listed securities including stocks, ETFs, and fractional shares, without any minimum investment requirements. The app also offers a dashboard for users to track and manage their portfolio plus access the content curated by Baraka’s team and learn about investing through the academy. The launch comes after Baraka receiving regulatory authorization from Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) in June 2021.
More than 10,000 users from across the Middle East have subscribed to be among the first to experience the Baraka app.
4- Nawy- Egypt
Cairo-born PropTech startup, Nawy, has raised a seven-figure seed investment.
The Egyptian startup is looking to utilize this investment to enhance their tech to become a homebuyer’s one-stop-shop, include more services, and expand their team to cover more areas across Egypt.
Initially launched as ‘Cooing’ in 2016, the company has since upped the ante on digitizing real estate in Egypt. The company boasts clients reaching over 30,000 users and billions of pounds in gross merchandise value (GMV) sales.
Nawy experienced 300% growth in 2021. The simplicity of having a cohesive real estate search engine for users to browse properties in some of Cairo’s hottest developments, and seamlessly close on a house are features that remain niche in Egypt.
“There’s a considerable chunk of time lost from a homebuyer’s end due to the lack of information and transparency, which breeds anxiety within customers,” Mostafa El Beltagy, CEO of Nawy, says in a statement. “Nawy is vying to become the leading real estate search engine and platform equipping customers with all the information and insight they need to select a home in Egypt’s top gated communities.”
5- CreditFins: Egypt
Cairo-based fintech startup and credit card management platform, CreditFins, has secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round.
The startup offers an inexpensive solution for structured debt repayment through a trackable plan of fixed, lower monthly installments. Customers save anywhere from 20 to 50% of the interest they would have paid to the bank.
The total outstanding credit card debt in Egypt totaled more than $2 bn in 2019. CreditFins is applying a customer-centric approach to the problem in hopes of granting its customers financial freedom.
The startup is working to launch the ‘CreditFins Alpha’ card, as it endeavors to make its credit card management platform more attractive to a wider segment.