For people in many cities, an automobile is necessary for getting from point A to point B quickly and safely. It’s no wonder, then, that so many entrepreneurs in the Middle East have established startups that cater to the needs of vehicle owners and offer transportation. From apps that allow you to book a ride around town to companies that are making it safer to drive, here are some of the best vehicle-oriented startups in the Middle East today:
In Jordan, years of water shortages have prompted entrepreneurs to seek new ways of washing cars. Along with his sons, Moutaz and Hassan, Nader Atmeh sought to eliminate the need for the traditional car wash by founding his company, Keenwash. Together, the family has developed an innovative car washing method that reduces water consumption from an average of 200 liters per wash to no water at all.
Using only 150 milliliters of a water-free car washing liquid, Keenwash can remove dust and dirt from the exterior of any vehicle. Comprised of a mix of emulsifiers and other ingredients, Keenwash’s liquid prevents surface scratches and leaves each car with a waxy finish. To keep their vehicles in top condition, Keenwash clients can also choose additional services such as interior shampooing, bumper treatment, and headlight cleansing.
Entrepreneurs Tarek and Andrew Kabrit founded Seez in 2015 to provide car buyers in the UAE with a platform through which they could find used vehicles. Unlike a traditional online marketplace, the site relies on innovative image recognition technology. When users see a car they’d like to purchase, they can take a photograph of it and upload it to the Seez app. The platform searches the Internet for the market value of that vehicle and even finds online sellers. The app can also assist in the price negotiation process, making it easier for anyone to find their dream car. Individuals can also use the Seez app to assess their current vehicle’s worth and put it up for sale.
Since its inception in 2015, Nexar has worked toward the goal of preventing vehicle crashes and improving traffic safety. To this end, the startup has developed a device that monitors and records traffic, so as to help drivers avoid accidents. The device sits on drivers’ dashboards and interfaces with their smartphones, which allows it to relay information in real time. As more drivers become part of the Nexar V2V network, the device becomes more effective at gauging vehicle proximity and preventing accidents. If a driver has a traffic accident, Nexar’s technology can provide them with video footage and other information that they will need for insurance claims.
Hailed as one of Forbes’ “Top 100 Startups In The Arab World 2017,” Loop has revolutionized the daily commute by offering electric scooter sharing services to people in Lebanon and beyond. Established in 2015, the startup allows users to access its fleet of electric scooters in a few simple steps. After locating their nearest Loop pickup location and booking a ride, individuals receive a unique PIN they can use to unlock the scooter and a safety helmet. After arriving at their destination, they access the Loop app to park and lock the scooter.
Loop not only makes it easier for people to catch a ride on demand; it also provides an environmentally friendly transportation option. Moreover, Loop can help the average adult save money by reducing or eliminating the need to own a car and pay for its associated expenses like insurance, fuel, and parking permits.
SellAnyCar.com took the number six spot on the Forbes list of “The 50 Most Promising UAE Startups” for its unique approach to online used car sales. The site is known as one of the most convenient platforms through which Middle East car owners can find a good price for their vehicles. With as little information as the make, model, and year of their car, users can determine how much it is currently worth on the market.
Armed with this information, users can then bring their vehicle to a local SellAnyCar.com facility for inspection. After evaluating the vehicle’s condition and added features, the inspectors provide fair and accurate value estimates for each car. SellAnyCar.com pledges to buy every single car that it inspects, which makes it easy for owners to sell their vehicles in as little as 30 minutes.
In 2012, Careem brought the ease and convenience of on-demand ride-booking services to the Middle East. Since then, this startup (and Uber competitor) has blossomed into a firm worth more than $1 billion. Through the Careem app, individuals can find a ride to any destination in a few simple clicks.
After selecting their pickup and drop-off locations, users can track their ride through the city to see when it will arrive. Once they reach their destination, riders can pay using cash, credit card, or with Careem credit. When booking, riders can also select from a variety of vehicles, including standard economy vehicles, luxury cars, and cars equipped with a child seat.