The Middle East has become nearly synonymous with innovation due to the region’s numerous startup hubs and the entrepreneurs who call them home. Above all else, this area of the word has become well known for its groundbreaking technology startups, which target consumers in every vertical ranging from e-commerce to business services. As technology continues to become an increasingly powerful force in the lives of Arab citizens, this already fast-growing tech startup ecosystem will only grow further.
Read on for a look at a few of the most amazing tech startups in the Middle East right now:
Headquartered in Dubai, Koi began as a ride-booking app in the same league as Careem and Uber. A year after its inception, however, the startup restructured its offerings in order to fill a gap in the local travel industry: limousine services.
Travel agencies have long struggled to provide their customers with adequate transportation options because their limousine partners generally do not have the technology needed to maintain connections with them. Through its new business-to-business focus, Koi hopes to create improved partnerships between these two entities and expand luxury limousine offerings for local travelers.
Through the startup’s mobile app, users can easily book rides with chauffeurs who will take them to any destination in Dubai. Koi even enables travelers to schedule rides in advance and estimate how much they will cost. The startup’s business clients can monitor each ride from start to finish, much like they would in a traditional business-to-consumer ride-sharing platform. Through these offerings, the startup is providing a safe and easy means of making luxury travel arrangements.
British expat Sarah Jones established her startup, Sprii, as a way of catering to the underserved market of Arab mothers. These consumers have had difficulty in finding the products they need not only because of limited product availability, but also due to a lack of international offerings within the local market. Sprii is providing mothers across the Middle East with greater access to the diverse range of products that they are looking to buy for their children, their homes, and themselves.
Sprii has cultivated an inventory that features items from thousands of brands from around the world. Whether they are looking for the best stroller on the market or want to outfit their kitchens with the latest appliances, mothers can find anything they may need on the site. If they find the same items for less on other sites, then Sprii will match those prices. Emphasizing convenience, the startup also provides free shipping to all of its customers and gives them the option to pay with cash on delivery.
Based in Dubai, InstaGlam is a groundbreaking mobile application designed specifically for the beauty industry. Founder Haifa Addas established the startup after she experienced difficulty in finding an online platform for booking and rating beauty professionals. A longtime beauty influencer, she has created a mobile app through which anyone can access services on an on-demand basis. InstaGlam is ideal for those who need beauty services for any occasion—be it their wedding, an event, or a casual get-together.
From makeup artists to hairdressers, InstaGlam features an array of trusted professionals who aim to help clients look their very best. During bookings, users need only choose what services they need, select a time, and specify where they would like to meet. They can even arrange for their selected professionals to come right to their homes.
We Cash Any Car
Since its inception in 2015, We Cash Any Car has ensured that UAE citizens receive cash offers for the vehicles that they are looking to sell. The startup makes this process simple by asking its customers to specify the make, model, and year of their cars before booking an appointment online. Following customers’ arrival, the team at We Cash Any Car will evaluate their vehicles and determine how much they are worth. The startup will always make an offer, no matter the condition of the vehicle.
Typically, We Cash Any Car will suggest a price that is equivalent to each car’s current market value. The cash offers commonly exceed those found at dealerships, reaching as high as AED 5 million. Those that accept the startup’s offer receive their cash within hours of bringing their cars in for evaluation, either in the form of a check or digital bank transfer. As such, they are able to circumvent the tedious process of posting advertisements for their vehicles, obtaining clearance from the Road and Transport Authority, and fielding offers.
In 2018, Arabot became one of four Arab startups to win the Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme. The startup has developed a “Bot as a Service” cloud offering that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to simplify consumer interactions.
Constructed on an Arabic neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) system, Arabot can analyze conversations in both the Arabic and English languages. Capable of understanding various dialects in Arabic, the bot allows companies to enhance customer satisfaction by responding to clients’ needs in real time.
Businesses can deploy Arabot on their websites, mobile applications, and instant messaging platforms. The system, which is available at any time of the day or night, provides instantaneous replies to customers’ questions and comments. Not only does this make it easier for companies to create a more personalized experience for their clients, but it also enables them to minimize their own operational expenses.