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The billion-dollar question: what does it take to make a unicorn?

Can the UAE meet its target of being home to 20 unicorns by 2031? Only if entrepreneurs, venture capital and the government work together to build companies that can truly “translate across borders”, according to experts. Today the UAE has just three startups valued at $1 billion: Vista Global, Emerging Market Property Group and Kitopi. […]

Shoe, Footwear, Clothing

MENA startup funding poised to recover in second half of 2022

Last year was a standout for Middle East and North African startups in which many notable records were broken, including the largest funding round to date and the highest number of deals. The total amount of investment raised by regional startups was pushed to $2.8 billion across 639 deals. This constituted a quadrupling of investment, […]

The Surpluss aims to be ‘Airbnb of business’ in Dubai

Just like Airbnb offered an alternative to hotels and Uber challenged the taxi market, Dubai-based Rana Hajirasouli says she wants to “instigate a paradigm shift” to disrupt how companies manage their business resources, while playing a key role in the circular economy. Hajirasouli plans to launch The Surpluss next month, and the best way to […]

Women in meeting

Think women make bad bosses? Think again, says Visa senior VP

Is a man better at running a business than a woman? The Visa Entrepreneur Study, commissioned by the global payments giant, found that nearly four in 10 (38 percent) of male business owners surveyed in the UAE believed men have better business instincts than women. Furthermore, 34 percent said businesses founded by women couldn’t compete […]

Money appears to have dried up for new businesses but it is unlikely to stay that way as venture capitalists loosen their purse strings

Forget the gloom, startup funding will bounce back

The global slowdown in venture capital funding for startups has spread to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), with May proving to be lowest month so far this year. But local experts believe that while new trends are emerging within the sector, it will rebound quickly in the second half of the year. Global […]

Egypt dominates Mena startup funding rankings in May

The amount of funding raised by startups in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) rose 62.7 percent year-on-year in May. But it still declined 40 percent month-on-month to record the lowest monthly amount so far this year, according to data compiled by Wamda, the largest early-stage investment fund in the Middle East. A total […]

Erika Blazeviciute Doyle, managing director at Drink Dry

How I got to the top: Erika Blazeviciute Doyle, Drink Dry

What does your company do? Drink Dry is the UAE’s first and only non-alcoholic drinks marketplace. We aspire to open the world to new and better ways of drinking. We sell and distribute premium non-alcoholic drinks in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. What inspired you to develop your idea? The business idea […]

Mena region has record year for startup investment

The geographic location of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) provides access to large markets in Europe, Africa and Asia, and is home to a large, young population.  In a context of geopolitical instability and high unemployment, many of these young people are increasingly seeking new opportunities and looking to improve the world via […]

How I got to the top: Aidan Christofferson, co-founder, Flashy

What does your company do? We are a 10 month old startup tech company, based in Dubai, which provides a platform for scalable photography solutions for GCC customers. Whether you’re a sole entrepreneur looking to capture images for your product, or a multinational enterprise looking for thousands of images a week, our platform takes care […]

Abu Dhabi invests in Swedish fintech’s $100m funding round

Swedish fintech firm Juni has raised $100 million in a funding round led by Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, and another $106 million in venture debt financing from Silicon Valley-based TriplePoint Capital. Juni’s existing investors – EQT Ventures, Felix Capital, Cherry Ventures and Partners of DST Global – also participated in the funding round. Getting […]

Blockchain allows secure transactions of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin

UAE blockchain firm links with powerhouse Roland Berger

Crypto Oasis, a Dubai-based organisation claiming to represent more than 1,000 startups and stakeholders in the blockchain industry, has formed an alliance with management consultancy Roland Berger to help grow the Middle East’s crypto economy. The strategic tie-up will combine Roland Berger’s industry-leading management consulting expertise with Crypto Oasis’s talent, innovation and infrastructure, the two […]

Africa’s online platforms take on Silicon Valley

African startups challenge giants like Facebook, Twitter Innovators say local knowledge is key to meeting needs Platforms prioritize indigenous languages, data rights By Kim Harrisberg and Menna A. Farouk Plan a funeral, call out corruption or start a business – tough jobs all now made easier by a generation of tech-savvy Africans tackling local problems […]

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UK $350m venture capital fund sees Dubai on the Horizon

Founder of London-based Digital Horizon targets investment potential in UAE startups  London-based venture capital fund Digital Horizon is targeting the UAE for growth, with investments in its first Dubai-based startups expected to be completed later this year. Alan Vaksman, founder and general partner of Digital Horizon, which has $350 million of assets under its management, […]

Facebook’s Meta signs partnership to support Saudi tech startups

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has announced a new partnership with Riyadh-based STV (Saudi Technology Ventures), the Middle East’s largest venture capital fund, to support the growth of technology startups in the kingdom. Founded in 2018 by Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, STV has capital of over $500 million and it’s portfolio of investments includes regional […]


Saudi credit to SMEs up 11.5%, startup funding up 145%

Credit provided by Saudi financial institutions to small businesses rose by 11.5 percent last year, while funding raised by startups in the kingdom is up 145 percent this year, as the Riyadh government continues to encourage the development of the country’s local business community. Credit awarded to Saudi micro, small and medium-sized enterprises reached 203.25 […]

Elie Habib's Anghami generates close to one billion streams a month with a catalogue of more than 72 million Arabic and international tracks

Make some noise for Anghami’s Elie Habib

The Lebanese music streaming mogul talks to AGBI about the meteoric rise of his Nasdaq-listed company, its battles with music pirates, relocation to Abu Dhabi and his ambition to launch Arab music stars Elie Habib fell in love with coding early. He started selling software at the age of 17 and launched several companies in […]