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MENA startups raising funds in April 2021: Part III of III

This is part 3 of a 3-part series that saw 15 companies raise substantial funds last April

Smileneo, a UAE healthtech startup, has raised $2 million in a seed funding round Gazal, a Saudi-based micro-mobility startup, has raised $2 mn in a seed funding round Kashat is the first nano-lending mobile application in Egypt

This is part 3 of a 3-part series that saw 15 companies raise substantial funds last April.

1- Smileneo- UAE

Smileneo, a UAE healthtech startup, has raised $2 million in a seed funding round.

Launched in 2019, Smileneo enables patients to access dental clinics which provide safe, effective, doctor-prescribed, and monitored clear aligners. Its business model is based on connecting patients with local clinics through its partner network. 

Extensive research showed that 85% of people across the MENA region could benefit from orthodontic treatments, but only less than 1% actually receive them each year. 

A large number of people don’t have access to quality orthodontic care that fits their budget and lifestyles. 

Being a healthtech startup in a traditionally offline-based industry, convincing patients and merchant partners to try out their service requires a strategy. Therefore, the team offers a free online assessment for patients to know ahead whether or not they are a candidate to Smileneo, saving them any prior unnecessary investment in their time and money. 

Currently, the startup is operating in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, and Bahrain. With the new funding, the company plans to hire top talent in MENA and expand the startup’s operations, starting with six new markets this year.   

Read: The GCC is emulating global crowdfunding success if only for lack of funding options

Read: 6 startups from Egypt, UAE, Saudi, and Jordan expanding using fresh funding

2- Gazal- Saudi

Gazal, a Saudi Arabia-based micro-mobility startup, has raised $2 mn in a seed funding round

Founded in 2020, Gazal offers dockless bikes and e-scooters in cities around Saudi Arabia with the goal of reducing congestion, noise, and pollution. The startup plans to use the funding to expand its services throughout Saudi Arabia and then the broader region. The new funding brings the company’s valuation to $6 million.

3- Carasti- UAE

Carasti, a UAE-based car subscription platform, has secured a $3 million pre-series investment round.

Since launching in November 2019, Carasti has been offering 1-to-24 months car subscription services that allow consumers to choose, swap, upgrade, or downgrade their car through the comfort of the Carasti app. 

Customers can select a new or used car from Carasti’s selection, upload their driver’s license and EID, and have the vehicle delivered to their home.

The funding round has followed triple-digit quarter-on-quarter revenue growth for Carasti since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown measures in the UAE in April 2020, with Q3 2020 posting more than a 200% increase on the previous quarter.

4- Cashat- Egypt

Egyptian mobile lending app Kashat has secured a funding round from Cairo Angels as it looks to expand its product suite and scale operations.

Founded in 2020, Kashat is the first nano-lending mobile application in Egypt, offering short-term loans of between $13 and $95 with a repayment plan of up to 61 days. 

The product is designed to serve unbanked Egyptians, which comprise almost two-thirds of the population, and will now be looking to scale quicker after securing the funding. 

5- Laverie- Egypt

Egypt-based dry-cleaning and laundry app Laverie has raised an undisclosed six-figure investment.

The investment will be used to launch a premium laundry service to cater to unserved clientele in Greater Cairo, with plans to expand to the GCC within the next two years.

Founded in 2018, Laverie has since processed over 60,000 items and onboarded more than 4,000 registered users, with month-over-month growth of 25%.

The innovative dry-cleaning & laundry app looks to expand operations over the Greater Cairo area, and subsequently the GCC, with a new range of services.