It’s no secret that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to some of the most prolific startups in the Middle East. For years, entrepreneurs from across the region have flocked to this hub of innovation to bring their best ideas to life. In recognition of this groundbreaking work, numerous local investors have made significant monetary contributions to help propel these ideas forward. As a result, some of the UAE’s biggest startups have taken in millions of dollars in funding.
Read on to explore seven UAE-based startups that garnered the most funding in recent years:
With supporters such as Dubai Silicon Oasis, 500 Startups, and Hala Fadel, Wrappup accumulated $800,000 in funding between 2013 and 2016. This startup is making it easier for business professionals to host productive meetings by providing an app that documents all of the most important moments for future reference. Instead of needing to jot down notes during a meeting, workers can use Wrappup to record the entire discussion. This tool also automatically creates summaries of each recording so that professionals can easily review what transpired, play back certain moments, and even search for specific words. Workers can even link Wrappup with the cloud to host online video conferences and other call-in meetings.
Since raising $1.3 million from Dubai-based venture capital firm Glowfish Capital, CarSwitch has quickly become the go-to source for those who are looking to sell or purchase used vehicles. In the past, Dubai locals had little way of verifying the legitimacy of their online automobile transactions. With CarSwitch, however, buyers and sellers alike can rest assured that they will receive only the most reputable services throughout the entire vehicle exchange process.
For locals who wish to sell their cars, the startup offers an “online car valuator” to help them to determine how much they can earn from the sale. With this information, sellers can arrange for a CarSwitch specialist to inspect their vehicles and take the photos that they will need to create online listings. In a matter of weeks, the startup can arrange for interested buyers to see and test-drive the cars. To make it easier for both parties involved, CarSwitch even oversees the processes of haggling and finalizing each sale.
Headquartered in Dubai Media City, ReserveOut has received $4 million in funding from investors such as iMENA Group and Jisr Venture Partners. With its innovative restaurant booking services, the startup allows locals to discover new places to eat and make reservations at their favorite establishments. ReserveOut also makes it easy for its users to modify or cancel any existing booking and leave restaurant reviews following their visit.
Consumers are not the only group that can benefit from ReserveOut’s services. Restaurants of all types can register with the startup and instantaneously access a diverse network of potential clients. Using dedicated modules for marketing and consumer management, ReserveOut helps restaurant owners interact with their audience and enhance their client service capabilities.
Tech startup Propertyfinder.ae has accrued more than $20 million in funding to support its online real estate services. Those who are looking for properties in locations such as the UAE and Egypt can peruse more than 50,000 monthly listings of both commercial and residential properties. Propertyfinder.ae helps its users find their dream homes by allowing them to input numerous parameters during their research. With these criteria, users will receive curated lists of properties that they can rent or buy. To make their decisions easier, individuals can use Propertyfinder.ae’s “Area Guides” to gauge important information about unfamiliar neighborhoods.
Though it was only established in 2015, e-commerce startup Wadi amassed $67 million in funding from Al Tayyar Travel Group by the end of 2016. The company has revolutionized the online shopping experience by hosting a marketplace of 150,000 electronics, beauty items, and more. UAE locals can easily browse this vast selection and view the opinions of experienced reviewers before making their purchases. To further enhance the customer experience, Wadi complements its simplified shopping experience with services like rapid shipping and easy returns.
Pacific Control Systems
With the backing of six prominent investors from across the Middle East, Pacific Controls garnered more than $270 million in funding over the course of three years. Specializing in information and communication technology (ICT), this startup delivers Internet of Things (IoT) services to clients across the globe.
Pacific Controls is perhaps best known for its artificial intelligence creations known as Gbots. These revolutionary “software agents” are capable of connecting global networks and providing digital intelligence services for various tasks. Another one of the startup’s popular features is its Galaxy 2021 IoT platform. In the past, Pacific Controls has used these technologies to complete major projects for world-renowned clients in industries such as aviation, hospitality, and national security.
No UAE-based startup has garnered more funding in recent years than Noon, which has taken in a staggering $1 billion thanks to supporters including the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Mohamed Alabbar. With the goal of creating an “unforgettable shopping experience” for locals, Noon hosts an online shopping portal that connects its users to any product they may need. In addition, the site has placed heavy emphasis on customer service, offering instantaneous shopping support, buyer protection, and fast delivery to all users. Locals can also sign up to become sellers through Noon, which can provide unprecedented access to audiences across the entire Middle Eastern region.