Figure 4. Number of Closed Startups in MENA by Category [NEW INSIGHTS]
33% 33% 32%
In every issue, we bring you a list of startups from the MENA region to keep an eye on. This summer, we have selected a diverse range of startups that include everything from Fintech to Travel to Pets. In August 2015, Karim Beltaji, CEO of Feloosy, and his team created a Facebook page with the message ‘Coming Soon: The new way to effffffectively manage your money online.’ Beltaji, a serial entrepreneur, left his job as an investment banker in 2013, and moved to Berlin to learn about the German startup scene. After working with several startups and incubators, he returned to Egypt to work on Fintech concepts for the Egyptian market.
The concept of Feloosy (Mymoney)
intervals to challenge children with educational questions.
Play My Way currently offers 3 subjects, 9 grade levels and over 25,000 questions (all of which can be controlled by parents) in addition to a detailed report that they can view. The first chapter of each subject is free, serving as a trial version for users. Parents can then buy each subject for 0.99$ to access all the chapters.
Country of origin: Lebanon Date of Launch: February 2016 Category: Ed-tech
growing Kuwaiti business. Today, My Fatoorah has more than 700 clients in Kuwait and abroad and hopes to reach more countries in the Gulf in 2016, with subsequent markets of interest being Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Country of origin: Kuwait Date of Launch: August 2015 Category: Online Payment Solution Owned and managed by Xpertogo Solutions DMCC, Towmydrive is a free app that allows UAE drivers to directly request roadside assistance via Gps-enabled technology. While similar in nature to other apps such Morni KSA, Towmydrive is the first and only road assistance app in the country. Due to the app’s proximity based dispatch that matches the closest roadside assistance unit with the driver, the app provides assistance faster than any traditional method, with stranded motorists being serviced within 15 minutes on average by the Towmydrive support network.
All stranded drivers have to do is open the Towmydrive app, tap the ‘GET HELP NOW’ button and enter their service request whether it be towing, replacing a flat tire, jumpstarting the car, a car wash or need for fuel. The GPSenabled app then tracks their location and transmits the details to the nearest provider. Within seconds, the user will receive a confirmation and can track the progress of the driver as he approaches the location and even pay for the service with a credit car or cash once it has been completed.
Towmydrive’s growing vehicle service network currently has more than 2,000 service partners across Dubai, assuring even faster service 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at affordable flat rates which users can even view online on the Towmydrive website.
Country of origin: UAE Date of Launch: March 2016 Category: Roadside Assistance Mobile App In a region still unaccustomed to online payment, the PAYME app marks the future of online payment methods, reducing the hassle of long bank procedures and hardware installation costs. PAYME is a credit card acceptance tool that allows businesses to accept credit card payments, remotely or upon delivery without any hardware installation. The seller is simply provided with a QR code, which allows buyers to pay via scanning the QR code with their phones, fulfilling their transaction within seconds.
For customers, using the app makes paying for a good or service secure, easy, and free. All a customer has to do is link their card(s) to the app, scan the merchant’s QR code, enter the payment amount, confirm the payment and then wait for the success notification. For merchants, using the PAYME app has several benefits: it drives more sales by adding diverse payment options for customers, it provides competitive pricing compared to other online payment platforms, all money is settled in the merchants bank account hassle free with no technical training required for employees.
Country of origin: Egypt Date of Launch: January 2016 Category: Banking & Accounting Petriotics is a monthly delivery service that brings pet food and supplies to animal owners in Lebanon, while helping local animal organizations at no extra cost. Nader Zaatari, the co-founder and director of the startup, having already established a social network for the animal community in 2013, wanted to connect animal rights organizations with more supporters.
With a seed funding of $25,000 from Altcity, Nader was able to explore the real needs of animal owners and conduct research to focus on developing a concept. Today, Petriotics website is up and running and offers pet parents the option of choosing between a variety of pet food brands or a premium pet box that includes treats, toys and accessories. Pet parents can schedule deliveries depending on how frequently their pet consumes his food and box, choose their favorite non-profit animal organization that they would like to support, and pay cash on delivery or online. While similar startups do exist in the region, such as Dubaipetfood.com, Petriotics go beyond being just a delivery service and offer 10% of their profits to animal welfare organizations in Lebanon.
In terms of future plans, Petriotics have already begun pushing to grow their customer base and are aiming to soon expand to the MENA region, especially to GCC countries with a special focus on the UAE.
Country of origin: Lebanon Date of Launch: Early 2016 Category: Pets