With $560 million worth of investments in the MENA region in 2017, the startup scene is buzzing with tech-savvy entrepreneurs and untapped potential like never before.
Since 2016, a notable 65 percent increase in investments was observed, with the UAE leading the Arab World in terms of startup funding deals.
The UAE received the majority of investments, about 70 percent, while Saudi Arabia saw a 4 percent increase in deal transactions since last year.
Here are 8 promising and innovative Arab startups you should keep an eye on:
Palestine-based WebTeb is an online medical and health information platform, aiming to provide comprehensive health-related information in Arabic.
Co-founded by Mahmoud Kaiyal and CEO Majed Abukhater in 2011, the platform has reached around $7 million in funding as it publishes evidence-based health information.
2. ReserveOut (Jordan)
The application now provides its services in seven cities including Jeddah, Beirut, and Doha. It acquired an Abu Dhabi-based competitor – Tawilati – which led to $7.1 millionin the latest funding round.
3. Morni (Saudi Arabia)
4. Falafel Games (Lebanon)
Lebanon-based Falafel Games is a developer and publisher of multiplayer online games with $4.8 million in funding, as Forbes Middle East listed it in its 2017 list of “Top 100 Startups In The Arab World 2017.”
Founded in 2016 by Lebanese duo Vincent Ghossoub and Radwan Kasmiya, the popular Arabic language game Knights of Glory is the brainchild of Falafel Games, amassing more than half a million players.
5. Hmizate Mall (Morocco)
Morocco-based Hmizate Mall is the first online marketplace in Morocco offering products of all categories and different brands at a competitive price with home delivery.
Created by Kamal Reggad in 2012, the platform’s goal is to satisfy their client’s demand and provide excellent customer service, leading the startup to receive a $2 million investment.
6. Elves (Egypt)
Founded in 2016, Elves is the ultimate “personal assistant” that allows you to message a real person through instant messaging to get you the groceries you need or the task you need to do.
Creators Karim Elsahy and Abeer Elsisy noticed the long time it took to run errands due to the traffic in Cairo and thus the idea emerged and was funded $1.3 million.
7. Geeks (UAE)
Co-founders Mousa Yassin and previous Microsoft employee Fathi Alsharif came up with the idea of Geeks when noticing the burden and time it takes to repair consumer devices such as smartphones and laptops.
As the name expresses, a trained specialist or “geek” would come to your preferred location, whether it is an office or at home and fix the issue on the spot.
Founded in 2014, the company currently has over $1.6 million worth of bridge funding.
8. Remmaz (Syria)
Syria-based Remmaz was created and coded by University of Damascus graduates Leen Darwich and Muhammad Sultan. It is an Arabic language online interactive platform that teaches coding for children aged seven to 13 in Arabic coding terminology.
Founded in 2014, Remmaz has successfully reached over 8000 active users from all over the Arab world.