Category Archives: UAE

UAE

Emaar acquires Namshi

Emaar Malls acquired 51% of Namshi for 151m USD

Global Fashion Group, owned by Rocket Internet, has announced a strategic partnership with Emaar Malls, which have some of the biggest shopping malls like Dubai Mall in the region and owned by property developer Emaar Properties.

Emaar Malls will acquire a 51% stake in Namshi, the leading online fashion retailer in the Middle East, for 151 million USD including investment in the company for its future growth, with GFG retaining the remaining as 49% co-owner. This partnership will accelerate Namshi’s development in the region while on the other hand give big possibilities to Emaar Malls to grow in ecommerce sector. It has been expected that partnership like this happen, taking into consideration that Emaar was interested to buy Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce site in the region, which was acquired by Amazon for 650m USD earlier this year.

Namshi acquired by Emaar

“The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Malls. “Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multi-channel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders.”

“We are very excited to welcome Emaar Malls as our majority shareholder,” said Hosam Arab, MD of Namshi. “We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers. We would like to congratulate and thank our team for their tireless efforts in making Namshi the Middle East’s premier fashion ecommerce destination and we look forward to continuing this journey together with Emaar Malls and GFG.”

Events that will support startups in Middle East

Increasing access to the latest technologies in countries where the largest social group are young citizens, lets us hope that technological revolution in the MENA region will come. In countries where the main problem is unemployment, the best alternative for many young entrepreneurs is to develop their own startup. A significant proportion of women in technology industry in the Arab world shows that, in the future, it can have a positive impact also on increasing their professional activity.

Development of the industry and encouraging innovation in emerging markets is an opportunity not only for the local community. The potential of the IT sector in developing countries is increasingly perceived in the West. Interest in the Middle East and achievements of local startups increases due to significant success of projects undertaken in this region.

Nowadays, five years after the Arab Spring, the economy in the region is slowly stabilizing, and entrepreneurs who want to develop their own startup have more opportunities for business growth and success. There are numerous programs such as accelerative Oasis500 in Jordan or MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, which currently runs recruitment for the ninth edition of the program in the MENA region.

In the Middle East they are also organized numerous international events, which aim to promote local projects outside the region, as well as integration of the market with Western entrepreneurs and investors. During such events it is possible to exchange experiences and knowledge, and to become familiar with achievements of local startups in the Middle East region, which has the potential to play an increasingly important role in the global market. In the last year, conferences in the Middle East were attended by: Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten from TheNextWeb or Dave McClure from 500 Startups. It is worth looking at some major events in the Middle East, whose further editions will be held this year: Step Conference (Dubai, 5-7 April 2017); MENA Games (Beirut, April); ArabNet Digital Summit (Dubai, 16-17 May); Startup Istanbul (Istanbul, 6 -10 October 2017); Webrazzi Summit (Istanbul, October 18-19 2017); RiseUp Summit (Cairo, December 2017).

The main objective of the organizers of these conferences is to gather specialists who want to share their knowledge and experience. An important point of events such as ArabNet, Turkey Startup or Startup Istanbul is to present startups, whose creators throughout duration of the conference participate in numerous workshops and compete for the opportunity to present in front of investors. During the events organized by Webrazzi in Turkey, as well as RiseUP Summit, a conference on the latest technologies in Egypt, the creator of the best startups also has the opportunity to meet with the conference participants and present their ideas in designated areas at the festival. MENA Games, organized in Beirut, is in turn one of the largest festivals dedicated to computer games in the region.

The organizers believe that promotion of local innovations and projects in the technology industry in the Middle East is crucial for accelerating economic growth and consistently improves quality of life in the region. The stories of many successful local startups can also be inspiring for Western companies, who are increasingly thinking about expansion into emerging markets.

Google names new Managing Director for MENA region

Google has revealed that Lino Cattaruzzi has been designated as Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry. Formerly he commanded the Google business in Mexico as Country Director. Beforehand he did that in Argentina too. He also led the global sales strategy team for online media solutions at Google’s headquarters in California, and was responsible for the online sales in Germany, Switzerland and Austria while based out of Dublin.

In his new role in Dubai office, Lino Cattaruzzi will carry on the efforts to let local business partners scale growth online and involve with consumers, as well as support broader digital ecosystem via scalable programs and initiatives. Since Google set up its presence in MENA region 8 years ago, a momentous strains went in successfully enhancing the broad adoption of digital throughout large and small businesses in the Middle East and North Africa.

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.

Results of the ranking “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA”

Deloitte has published the rank covering the fastest growing technology innovative companies  of the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). The leader is the French company Weezevent. The average revenue growth rate of all the companies from the rank “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” was 1711%. For comparison, in last year’s edition it was 1403% and in 2012 it was 1549%.

 The winner of the current edition, as well as one and two years ago, is a company from France. This time it is Weezevent, which deals with online sales of tickets for concerts and events. Over the past five years, the company recorded an impressive revenue growth of over 43 thousand %. Central-European leader and the winner of the ranking of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE” is the Hungarian company Szallas.hu. This year it is located on the 66th place of the rank in the EMEA region.

Like last year, the most strongly represented country is France, from which there come 86 companies. Compared with the results of the year 2011, 2012 and 2013 – the composition of the national podium in terms of numbers has not changed. The second place belongs to Great Britain, and the third to Sweden.

This year’s edition of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” was dominated by companies of the software sector, which account for 42% the whole rank. There are two times less (21%) of Internet companies and the third place is occupied by companies of the telecommunications sector  (13%). Shares of these three sectors are almost identical to last year’s edition.

Ranking “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” represents the 500 fastest growing innovative technology companies in EMEA. The analysis is based on the percentage increase in operating income from the sale over the last five years (2009 vs. 2013).

Companies included in the ranking must meet the following criteria: develop or manufacture proprietary technologies and / or incur significant expenditures on research and development, have the ownership structure which excludes majority shares of strategic investors, established in one of the countries participating in the program, the period of time: min.5years, the operating revenue in each test was: min. 50 000 EUR.