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Seven Polish startups that succeed abroad

The Polish market of startups becomes more and more notices and has a vision of going beyond its native backyard. The number of Polish startups situates itself at the level of 2.4 thousand of entities. Their activities are focused primarily on software production for mobile applications industry, e-commerce and online services. Many entrepreneurs seek foreign investors and business angels. Few, however, have been successful on an international scale. Here are a few of these, which have succeeded:

 1. Ivona

This is a speech synthesizer, which originally was to serve the blind and partially sighted. Soon, however, it also become a tool for news reading and support for call centers and hotlines. Ivona stands out in that it has a natural, warm voice and is devoiced of a flattened voice effect alike Darth Vader mask. Before, Ivona got acquired by Amazon in 2013, it had won many awards and distinctions. Ivona speaks 17 languages in 44 different voices.

 2. Brand24

The company is involved in monitoring the Internet and social media. Its tool collects all mentions feed of products, brands and other keywords from websites, forum discussions and social media. It helps to spot problematic issues before they escalate to protect your company image.  The tool is used by: IKEA, the History Channel, H & M and… the White House. Brand24 belongs to a group LARQ, which is listed on the stock exchange. Last year, the company’s revenue increased by 88%.

  1. LiveChat

The company focuses on actions in the model of software as a service. It opened a branch in the USA. Nearly 80% of the more than 10,000 customers are foreign companies and corporations, such as: Bosch, LG, Samsung, Orange, Adobe, Pizza Hut, Ryanair and Stanford University. The most known product is LiveChat – software for sales, consulting, customer service and website support.

 4. Estimote

The company produces beacons – sensors for precise geolocation, mainly indoors. These solutions uses in its stores, for example, Apple. In 2013, Estimote acquired $ 3,1 million of funding, and in 2016 it acquired $ 10,7 million.

  1. Brainly

It’s a website where students ask questions about specific homework assignments and wait for response from other students or experts in the field. Currently, the service has more than 60 million users and 80% of them use Brainly every month. In May 2016 the company received a $ 15 million funding from Naspers. Earlier, in two rounds of investment, it had managed to collect $ 9.5 million.

  1. Codility

The software allows to quickly assess technical skills of candidates to work in IT. In 2009, the it won the competition for start-ups organized by Seedcamp in London. Today Codility can boast a list of nearly 1100 clients, among them: Amazon, PayPal, eBay, Samsung, Nokia, Harvard University.

 7. Booksy

This is a tool for businesses, service providers and their customers, which allows you to quickly and easily sign up on the calendar, for example to the hairdresser or beautician. Instead a phone-call, you need just a few clicks in the application, which means that a visit can be arranged even in the middle of the night. So far, the company has managed to acquire a total of $ 4 million funding  in two rounds of investment. Booksy operates in over 80 countries around the world.

10 most promising startups from Dubai

Low taxes and strategic position as a crossroads city in the Middle East make Dubai a perfect place for starting new products and services. Dubai currently has a status of a global city. It is a lot more than luxury shopping, contemporaneous architecture and agile nightlife. It plays host to a flourish tech startup ecosystem. Here are the most promising startups coming from this most populous city in the United Arab Emirates:

  1. EKar – an easy-to-use car sharing platform which enables you to easily book cars across the city where you live and work via your laptop or smartphone.
  1. Fetchr – a technology solution which makes shipping as delightful as shopping. Fetchr helps local merchants and global brands build, launch and grow profitable e-commerce and online businesses. Fetchr solves the problem of no physical addresses in emerging markets, and eliminates the need for annoying phone calls asking for directions.
  1. HolidayMe – online travel booking platform, which introduced on-the-fly customization of holiday packages. The novel concept has managed to bag Series A funding from Saudi-based investors. The start-up intends at giving the control in the hands of the customers by allowing them to pick holiday packages and customize them based on their personal choices from a broad database of over 1,00,000 hotels, 8,000 sightseeing activities and airport pick-up and drop facility across 300 cities globally.
  1. JadoPado is a marketplace where people around the world come together to buy and sell stuff. It enables you you sell new, used and refurbished products directly to buyers. Sellers handle their own stores, including products, offers, orders and fulfilment.
  1. Nabbesh.com – it is the Middle East’s largest marketplace to find, hire and get work conducted by freelancers. Companies can find freelancers within 24 -48 h and assignments can vary from a few hours to monthly recurring work.
  1. Bridg – a mobile payment platform which provides unbanked and offline transactions via bluetooth. It lets small to medium size businesses to accept smartphone payments over the counter or as a replacement to cash on delivery.
  1. HeyDoc! – a tele-health communication platform which connects patients with the right medical consultants through in app medical advisory.
  1. Careem – an app-based chauffeur driven car service currently operating in UAE, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Dammam, Dhahran, Doha, Jeddah, Karachi & Morocco.
  1. Eureeca – an FCA-regulated equity crowdfunding platform which is changing the way people invest and businesses raise capital.
  1. Icflix – the MENA’s first unlimited streaming platform which delivers Jazwood (Arabic content), Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV series, cartoons and documentaries, all of which can be watched on any internet connected device. The startup aims is to provide the best online entertainment value, selection and experience to a worldwide subscriber base.

MENA startups you need to know

Recently in Bahrain took place the MENA Angel Investor Summit 2016, which is one of the largest meetings of venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, angel investment organizations and entrepreneurs. The event’s purpose is to build a strong supportive and sustainable start-up ecosystem and grow the angel investment community in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Since the first Summit in 2010, over 1000 regional and international investors have been able to connect with around 150 high-potential innovative entrepreneurs from the region. This has resulted in USD 6 million investments. This year gave a chance to over 30 promising start-ups. Most of them had a competitive edge with regional and global appeal. Below we present 5 most interesting ones.

GetBaqala – It comes from Bahrain. It aims to make grocery shopping fast, simple and convenient. It is an m-commerce platform, which enables people to purchase daily needs and groceries from their neighborhood magazines and then brings the products to their doorstep within 2 hours. The goal is to make local shopping experience easy and pleasant for buyers thanks to connecting them to their trusted merchants from their neighborhood via a mobile app. The startup plans to reach 300 orders daily by December 2017.

myU – It comes from Kuwait. It is an app for school communication. In each school it works as intranet social network of pupils, faculty members, clubs and organizations. The tool makes it easy to communicate in real-time with anyone in the school community. It can be used if a teacher wants to announce something to his pupils, or when a school organization wants to promote its events and activities, or when a pupil wants to ask about an exam date. The startup has more than 60,000 users and over 1,000 educators. In 2016 it reached revenues of $75,000.

Masmoo3 – It comes from Jordan. It is an online platform, which produces and publishes Arabic Audiobooks. It offers Arabic speakers a digital library of Arabic audiobooks. They are accessible using the internet download and smartphones apps. The aim is to provide Arabic speakers with luxury of listening to books while practicing everyday activities like driving, walking, playing sports, and relaxing.

Elmuda– It comes from Jordan. It is the Middle East’s premier online luxury fashion store. The online platform connects modern women with more than 150 brands around the world, where they can buy unique products from London to LA, Berlin to Bucharest, Paris to Milan.

Kotobna – It comes from Egypt. It is the first online self-publishing platform in Arab world. The startup enables young Arab authors to publish, promote and monetize their work via website and mobile app. In half a year there were published 200 e-books, which were downloaded 11,000 times.