The 2010s have been a decade of tremendous growth for the Middle Eastern startup sector. With numerous high-profile exits and valuation milestones, this ecosystem has had a truly prosperous several years.
As we move into 2020, it’s important to keep an eye on the startups that are on their own paths topath growth. From award winners to upcoming launches, here are seven Middle Eastern startups that you should be watching in the next year:
Mintaga took home the award for New Media Start Up of the Year at the 2019 Arabian Business StartUp Awards. Marketed as the TripAdvisor of Dubai, the startup has created an outlet through which local residents can access reviews about properties in their local area.
The founders of Mintaga devised the concept for their startup after struggling to find reliable housing in Dubai. To help make the process easier for others, the team built a platform where the community could post independent, honest reviews of their own residences.
On Mintaga, residents can leave ratings based on such factors as the amenities offered at their buildings, the maintenance services provided, and observations about the local community. This gives property hunters better peace of mind during the moving process while also benefitting the landlords and housing associations that manage properties across the UAE.
Families with little ones can find fun, exciting activities to do throughout the UAE by downloading the QiDZ app. Through this platform, parents can search for things to do based on date, location, and type of activity.
Every listing on the QiDZ app is guaranteed to be kid-friendly so parents can find new things to do and provide ample family fun and enrichment for their children. From local aquariums to restaurants, businesses from all over the UAE offer amazing deals through QiDZ. As such, families can go out and create lifelong memories without breaking the bank.
Recently, QiDZ took in an impressive $1 million in seed funding. With this money, the startup will improve its current product. Ultimately, it will expand into other regions in the Middle East.
Headquartered in Dubai, Invygo is the first startup of its kind to offer car subscriptions through a mobile app. Founders Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo sought to meet a growing need for on-demand delivery of the latest innovations in the automotive industry. Instead of needing to own or lease cars of their own, Invygo’s clientele can purchase a subscription that allows them to drive the latest car models available.
For a single monthly payment, Invygo users can select from more than 20 dealership-certified vehicle models. Each of these cars comes fully insured, registered, and maintained, so all they have to do is drive. Invygo will even deliver the car of their choice right to customers’ doors.
After raising seed funding, Urent is well on its way to becoming the “Airbnb of cars” in the UAE. This groundbreaking platform is slated for launch in June 2020. It will facilitate peer-to-peer vehicle sharing that will provide private car owners with the opportunity to make money renting out their rides to others.
Urent will feature as many as six categories of vehicles, giving local drivers more choice when renting. This level of variety will help meet the demand of those who aren’t currently finding what they want on the UAE rental market. Moreover, Urent will facilitate the growth of community between vehicle owners and their renters.
Since its inception in 2016, Skiplino has become an in-demand platform for queue management in Bahrain. The platform leverages cloud technology to make it easier for businesses to manage queues and keep their customers happy.
By using the Skiplino app, consumers can join the queues at their favorite establishments before walking through the door. Once they arrive, they must simply wait for a customer service agent to call their respective tickets.
Skiplino not only enhances customer service, but it also gives businesses more control over their operations. Using the platform’s analytics features, they can determine how well their various locations are performing and even track customer preferences.
The UAE-based Znap is tapping into the country’s obsession with e-commerce by giving local consumers the chance to earn money back whenever they make purchases. The app focuses primarily on everyday items such as groceries, making it less of a chore for its users to get their daily shopping done.
Znap has partnered with many different retailers to provide these cashback offers to its users. Shoppers can begin saving money by building up their “Cash Back” list with their favorite deals. As they shop, they upload their receipts to Znap to take advantage of these deals. The platform will then add the specified amount to their Znap Wallets.
Another recipient of an Arabian Business StartUp award, Okadoc helps connect doctors with patients seeking care. To this end, the startup has built a database of more than 16,000 physicians in 140 specialties.
Users can search for specialists based on the symptoms they are experiencing, their location, or their insurance coverage. Once they find a suitable provider, Okadoc allows them to book and manage appointments online. The app will also deliver push notifications and other messages to remind them of their upcoming appointments, so they won’t miss out on their bookings.
Okadoc allows doctors to expand their client networks and engage their existing patients in new ways. By streamlining the appointment-booking process, the platform also minimizes the frequency of no-shows and keeps physicians current with their bookings.