Through the support of King Abdullah II, Jordan has assembled a flourishing economy, a strong educational system, and a growing informational technology industry—all the elements it needs to foster a diverse, growing startup scene and encourage innovation across numerous sectors. As a result, Jordan is quickly becoming one of the biggest entrepreneurial hubs in the Middle East.
Read on to explore a few promising Jordanian startups:
Entrepreneur Eman Hylooz paired her love of reading with her professional background in software management to establish one of the most innovative social networks in the Middle East. Known as Abjjad, this startup is a social site that caters to the needs of Arabic literary publishers, authors, and readers.
Through the desktop site or mobile application, users can peruse a library of more than 200,000 books, from children’s literature to religious writings, and generate detailed reviews about their favorite titles. Abjjad frequently highlights some of its most prolific reviewers, which enables others to connect with them to discuss the newest authors and books. In order to expand its library and promote new talent, the startup encourages authors to publish their books to the site.
Founded in early 2016, Repzo delivers customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to entities that focus their work in the realm of mobile sales. Designed for Android and iOS devices, it is the first product of its kind to cater to Arabic audiences. Repzo is also available in English, which makes it a useful CRM tool for international companies.
Repzo offers a wide array of features that enable professionals to streamline the process of monitoring field employees and tracking client correspondence. For example, companies can use the startup’s Client Management features to compile all customer details into a single, easy-to-reach database. Repzo also enables them to follow the daily movements of their customer representatives by creating activity reports and tracking how long they spend with each client.
Since completing the incubation program at 500 Startups, Tamatem has become one of the biggest entities in the Arabic mobile gaming scene. Recognizing the dearth of games targeted to Arabic-speaking audiences, the startup has focused on publishing smartphone games that feature elements from Middle Eastern culture. By working with a number of global game developers, Tamatem has been able to release Arabic versions of some of the most popular gaming applications, including trivia, racing, and puzzle games.
Cash Basha has changed the way that shoppers across the Middle East make purchases through Amazon. Recognizing that many countries in the region have customs regulations and payment roadblocks that make it difficult for locals to purchase from this prominent global marketplace, the company developed a way to streamline the purchasing process. Users simply browse through Amazon’s vast stock and select what they need. CashBasha then tallies up all shipping and customs costs and takes care of all logistics involved in the transaction.
Even more significant is Cash Basha’s focus on cardless payments. With the majority of Middle Eastern shoppers preferring to make cash purchases, the startup has created an avenue through which its clients can place orders online and pay a live representative in cash. Cash Basha also welcomes traditional credit card payments, thus making it simple and convenient for Middle Eastern shoppers to have any online item delivered to their doors.
With a name meaning “play music” in Arabic, Izif is one of the most prominent online music education platforms in the Middle East. Based in Amman, the startup has attracted the attention of prominent investors such as Oasis500 and 500 Startups, which have helped fund the creation of its numerous video tutorials. These videos provide a means for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players to learn the fundamentals of several instruments.
By providing an array of free lessons and sheet music, Izif enables Arabs to learn about both regional instruments and global favorites, such as guitar and piano. The startup’s non-Arab audience also has the unique opportunity to test their hand at Arab instruments. In addition, nearly 100 Jordanian schools utilize Izif to teach music to their students.
A former Couchsurfing Ambassador in Jordan, Sama’n Haman established his own startup, Gweet, to help individuals find reliable rental housing. On its website, the company features all manner of bedrooms, villas, and apartments that its users can peruse. Gweet makes it easy for its members to find exactly what they need by listing each property according to such criteria as cost and number of guests allowed.
Whether an individual is looking to take a weekend excursion or seeking a permanent home, the startup has options to suit any need and budget. Gweet members can also serve as hosts, thus enabling them to make money from their vacant rooms and properties.