5 of the Top Parent-Oriented Startups in the Middle East

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Parenting is, without a doubt, a difficult job. From understanding what to purchase for your baby when it arrives to learning how to take care of your new little one, there are many things that every parent needs to know. For residents of the Middle East, the past several years have brought countless resources that can help them with all of their parenting needs.

Due to the efforts of the region’s entrepreneurs, parents now have greater access to all manner of websites and retailers that can help to make their jobs easier. Here are five of the top parent-oriented startups in the Middle East today:

  1. SuperMama

supermama startupFormer IT services professionals and co-workers Zeinab Samir and Yasmine El-Mehairy established their startup, SuperMama, to help enrich the lives of parents in the Middle East. After El-Mehairy’s sister-in-law became pregnant, she realized the dramatic lifestyle change that new mothers must make on behalf of their children. Upon conducting further research, the partners found that the majority of mothers could not easily access crucial information about topics such as parenting advice, finances, and daily planning. To make it easier for these individuals to find the knowledge that they need to raise a family, El-Mehairy and Samir created the first online parenting platform in the Middle East region.

Available in both Arabic and English, SuperMama is helping parents in the area to navigate the various stages of building a family. The startup’s team of medical correspondents develops topic-driven content for mothers seeking answers to their questions about everything from pregnancy to child-rearing. Through SuperMama, parents can also find articles that will help them plan weekly meals or indulge in a little “me time.” The unique services have helped the startup to garner a monthly audience of around 2 million people who flock to both its website and social media accounts.

  1. Koodakoo

koodakoo logoMarketed as Iran’s version of Diapers.com, Koodakoo has become the nation’s go-to source for baby and children’s products. Instead of running to the store each time they need something for their children, parents can turn to the site for all their shopping. Koodakoo, which stocks 3,000 products across 60 trusted children’s brands, aims to expand its offerings to 15,000 items.

Catering specifically to the parents of children starting from birth to 5 years old, the startup helps consumers find all manner of strollers, toys, bedroom necessities, and more. With secure online payments and efficient shipping, Koodakoo makes it easier than ever for parents to purchase the best children’s products available on the market.

Parents who use Koodakoo also have access to the benefits of its customer loyalty program, known as Koo-points. With each purchase of 2,000 Toman, customers earn one koo-point (worth 100 Toman) that they can use to obtain discounts on future purchases.

  1. MomAdvice

mom advice logoHeadquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, MomAdvice is the first parenting startup of its kind to provide a direct link between mothers and licensed child psychologists. Using a secure mobile platform, mothers can connect with experts and pose any parenting questions that they may have. Prior to their virtual meetings, mothers can view a small therapist bio that details their areas of focus and educational credentials. With this information, they can rest assured that they are receiving advice from only the most qualified psychologists.

MomAdvice’s mobile chat feature allows mothers to collaborate with their assigned therapists through unlimited text chat. Since it is available from anywhere and at any time of the day, the chat room enables mothers to share their various parenting concerns with their psychologists as soon as they arise.

During beta testing, MomAdvice garnered the participation of 20 child psychologists and more than 200 mothers who have tested its services. Following this phase of development, the startup aims to expand its capabilities globally so that it can serve the vast community of mothers who use smartphones.

  1. Dilek’s Baby Shower

Parents from across Turkey can find everything they need for baby showers, children’s birthday parties, and other events through baby decorations retailer Dilek’s Baby Shower. To ease the process of arranging parties, the startup has created a one-stop source for products ranging from door decorations to embellished pillows. Dilek’s Baby Shower also boasts a large stock of curated baby gifts and decorations for hospital rooms, which clients can use to treat the new parents in their lives. Those seeking a more a more personalized touch may create a customized version of any of the startup’s products.

Outside of its regular shopping services, Dilek’s Baby Shower works with individuals who want to commemorate the most important moments of parenthood. Through the startup, clients can arrange for photography services during events such as baby showers and childbirth. In addition, Dilek’s Baby Shower can help its customers to arrange for newborn photography sessions.

  1. Mother & Child Guide

mother and child guide logoFeatured on Forbes’ list of the 50 Most Promising Saudi Startups of 2016, the Mother & Child Guide has become a favorite site for parents seeking information on pregnancy and child-raising. The online magazine works with local physicians and writers to publish articles that cover all manner of parenting topics, ranging from how to pinpoint the early signs of pregnancy to methods for preventing diaper leaks. In order to best serve the needs of its users, the Mother & Child Guide also uploads parenting videos and other types of media that are specifically designed with its readers in mind. All manner of expectant mothers, fathers, and stay-at-home parents can turn to the startup with any question they may have about their children and obtain the answers they need.

A Look at the Growing Startup Industry in Kuwait

kuwait plate

With local entrepreneurship on the rise, Kuwait is well on its way to becoming a new Silicon Valley. Bolstered by a flourishing economy, accessible education, and a support network of local organizations, the country’s entrepreneurs have established startups that cater to virtually any need of the local populace. This sector will only continue to grow as more passionate, determined individuals bring their innovative ideas to life.

Read on to take a closer look at the burgeoning startup scene in Kuwait:

Talabat

talabat logoOne of Kuwait’s most prosperous startups is Talabat, an online portal that makes it easy to order food from local restaurants. Founder Mohammed Jaffar has helped Talabat flourish into a company that serves more than 3 million clients in dozens of cities across Kuwait as well as the UAE, Jordan, and more.

Either online or via mobile application, individuals can start their food search by inputting their location and selecting from one of the eateries that serves their area. Talabat works with over 4,000 chain and local restaurants to provide the most diverse array of food offerings to its clients. With a particular emphasis on customer service, the startup boasts unique services such as multiple payment options and frequent restaurant deals.

Bookr

bookr logoBookr is bringing “carefree booking” to the people of Kuwait by simplifying the process of making appointments at local health and beauty establishments. Instead of needing to book via phone call, clients can download the startup’s mobile application and search for available appointments online.

When perusing through Bookr’s list of vendors, users can view important information such as reviews, location, and services before deciding where to take their business. Upon completing their reservation, they receive immediate confirmation directly through the app. Bookr then creates a calendar of their upcoming appointments to that users can keep track of all their various bookings.

Ajar Online

ajar online logoFor many landlords and tenants, the process of making monthly housing payments can be cumbersome. More often than not, tenants must bring their rent directly to their local collection agency, lest they receive visits from rent collectors. To make this process smoother for all parties involved, entrepreneurs Talal Alyaseen and Shaheen Alkhudhari established Ajar Online.

Designed as a cloud-based service, the startup allows tenants to fulfill all their monthly rent obligations directly through their mobile devices. Landlords who use Ajar Online can enroll their various tenants with the site, thus enabling them to make online payments for their properties. Each month, tenants receive SMS messages that detail how much rent is due and when they must make the payment. By connecting to Ajar Online’s K-NET Gateway, they can then pay their rent in a timely manner.

This system affords numerous benefits to both landlords and renters. From an administrative standpoint, Ajar Online ensures that more tenants will make their payments on schedule. On the tenant end, the startup allows individuals to pay their rent from anywhere in the world. They also receive immediate payment confirmation via text and email, making it easier to keep track of their payments.

StudentHub

student hub logoStudents and recent graduates who are seeking work should look no further than StudentHub. In an effort to connect its users with reliable work experiences, this startup has collaborated with countless employers, including Richter Creative Office and Warba Bank.

To register with StudentHub, users need only verify which university they attend and upload information to their online CV. With an account, they are then free to peruse job listings with any of the available employers and apply for their desired position with the touch of a button. Through StudentHub, users can easily find all manner of full- and part-time positions as well as opportunities for internships and volunteer work.

Rehlat

rehlat logoWith a name meaning “travel” in Arabic, Rehlat helps residents of both Kuwait and the wider Middle Eastern region plan trips for themselves and their families. Clients can take advantage of the various flight and hotel offerings that the startup provides. To ensure that its consumers plan the best travel experience possible, Rehlat allows users to choose between economy, business, or first class on all flights.

The startup also makes it easy for its clients to pay for vacations using regional payment methods such as CashU and Sadad. For those looking to save money on their trips, Rehlat regularly features exclusive vacation offers, sales, and giveaways.

Boxit

boxit logoSince its debut in 2014, Boxit has emerged into one of the largest storage companies in Kuwait. Former telecom professional Premlal PK conceptualized the idea for his startup after he struggled to find the storage space that he needed during the process of reorganizing his house. After considering having a friend keep some of his possessions temporarily, he embarked on the journey towards beginning his own storage firm.

Today, clients in both Kuwait and the UAE can turn to Boxit whenever they need assistance with packing and storing items from their homes. The startup offers transparent pricing for the storage of all manner of kitchen, bedroom, and miscellaneous products, thereby enabling consumers to easily decide what they can afford to store. Using the Boxit mobile app, clients can view their own “visual catalogue,” which details which items they currently have in storage.

7 of the Most Innovative Social Media Startups in the Middle East

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Social media provides a way for people to connect with one another and chronicle their daily lives. In the Middle East, these online platforms have become an even more crucial means of bringing together like-minded individuals from all walks of life. A number of entrepreneurs from across the region have developed startups that make it easier than ever for Internet users to engage in social networking for both personal and professional reasons. Read on to explore seven of the best social media startups in the Middle East today.

  1. Frien10

Friend10The Egypt-based Frien10 is an innovative online social club that helps people discover new friends. After registering with the site using their Facebook accounts, users fill out a profile with pertinent information such as where they live, what they love, and how much free time they have to meet up with other users. Frien10 takes these various metrics and uses them to assign each user to a group of no less than 10 others who share similar interests. Through the startup’s Android application, users can then easily collaborate with their group members to determine when and where they can meet up in real life.

  1. PegTweets

Peg tweets logoQatari entrepreneur Pavan Kumar established PegTweets to enable people to interact with their Twitter followers in new ways. An innovative Twitter client, the app makes it easy for individuals to follow trending topics from their local region, manage their connections, and gauge the topics that their followers enjoy most. PegTweets has also automated the process of connecting its users’ Klout scores with their Twitter accounts so that they can regularly assess their online influence.

Perhaps PegTweets’ most groundbreaking feature is its Interactive Tweets tool. With this option, users can easily measure the feedback of their followers by sharing special Tweets and establishing a set response time. Once this period ends, users can view all reactions in the form of a graph and read the comments from each follower. They are then free to publish the results through Twitter or one of their other social media accounts.

  1. Doxunity

doxunity logoBased in Dubai, UAE, Doxunity has developed a social media platform for doctors in the Middle East and North Africa. After establishing an account with the site, physicians can create and manage their own online profile and search other profiles to find any of their colleagues or previous classmates. Doxunity’s secure site makes it simple for healthcare professionals to network and collaborate with each other. The startup even creates a DoxNews feed tailored to the particular medical specialty of each user, thereby enabling doctors to remain current with the latest healthcare developments in their area of interest.

  1. Ishto

ishto logoDesigned specifically with the import/export industry in mind, Ishto has created a groundbreaking social network for wholesalers of a variety of products, including food, clothing, and agriculture. Business owners who sign up with the site can create a profile that allows them to highlight their various products. By consistently updating this page, they can increase their online presence and establish a diverse body of followers.

Wholesalers can also use Ishto to search for others in their industry. This enables them to collaborate and discuss important market-related topics. Additionally, business owners can follow the profiles of others so that they can communicate with them regularly and see their company’s latest product offerings.

  1. Naqeshny

naqeshny logoWith a name meaning “discuss with me,” Naqeshny has create a groundbreaking online debating platform for Egyptians. The startup’s founders established the site after witnessing the recent segmentation of their society along political lines. To encourage people to develop their own opinions and encourage them to engage with a wide variety of viewpoints, they established an easy way for them to participate in informed discussions.

After registering for the site, users must answer a number of topic-driven questions, the results of which help the site sort them to into color-coded teams comprised of others with similar views. Individuals can then join active debates or initiate their own. Each discussion welcomes the participation of users from either side of a given argument, allowing them to make 300-character comments, vote for the side of the issue that they support, and reply to the positions of others. To encourage the participation of all, Naqeshny offers interfaces in Arabic and English.

  1. Gainist

Through the Amman, Jordan-based startup Gainist, automobile enthusiasts can connect with one another and find everything they need to keep their rides in top shape. In addition, this online network enables its users to collaborate with people who are looking to buy or sell vehicles. Gainist has thus married social networking with e-commerce in an effort to create new connections between people who love cars.

  1. Cuccoo

Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, Cuccoo is the first social media site to focus on the concept of crowd mentoring. For those who are looking to overcome difficulties in their life and achieve new goals, the startup provides an online forum through which they can seek help from “crowd-mentors.” Whether they are looking for assistance with their personal relationships, finances, or careers, users can take advantage of the Cuccoo toolkit to reach their objectives.

Individuals can fully customize their personal journey by setting time-sensitive goals and maintaining online journals. To celebrate their own progress, they can also create videos that will unlock as they work towards their objectives. Supplementing this toolkit is the advice and feedback that users receive from Cuccoo’s network of mentors, who support them on their path to a happier life.

These 7 Entities Are Boosting the Startup Scene in Iran

Iran

Virtually separated from the markets and cultures of the rest of the world, Iran has been self-sufficient when it comes to business growth. Due to this unique ecosystem, the country has borne a number of groundbreaking startups in every sector, ranging from technology to e-commerce. Supporting this remarkable growth is Iran’s ever-expanding network of accelerators, media sources, and other organizations that have supplied local entrepreneurs with all the tools that they need to build thriving startups. Read on to learn about seven of the entities that are boosting the startup scene in Iran.

  1. Idearun

idea runAn innovative startup studio in Tehran, Idearun works with fledgling companies that need assistance in developing products and ideas. Along with partners such as Startup Weekend, TechPin, and Sharif Accelerator, the organization has completed nearly 60 projects for startups, both in Iran and around the world.

In order to help its clients make the biggest impact, Idearun works hand-in-hand with them during the earliest phases of the startup process to substantiate their initial concepts and design a roadmap that will guide them to success. Moreover, the organization works with startups that need everything from assistance in developing their online user interface to advice on how to expand their staff.

  1. Raykasb

raykasbHeadquartered in Tabriz, Raykasb serves the needs of local entrepreneurs by providing them with a unique co-working space. The company, which welcomes freelance workers and students, provides an excellent arena where startup teams can work on projects and develop their ideas. At Raykasb, these budding entrepreneurs can rent office space for up to four people on a monthly basis. During this time, they can work at any hour of their choice: morning, noon, or night. Raykasb also provides its clients with a number of startup-targeted services that they will need to build their businesses. For example, those looking to hone their skills can attend one of the company’s many educational workshops. For those who need more individualized assistance, Raykasb offers mentoring services to startup teams.

  1. Avatech

avatechOne of Iran’s top startup hubs, Avatech enables entrepreneurs to foster their startup ideas in the company of other professionals who are on a similar path. Working primarily with tech companies, the organization has led a number of startup acceleration rounds since 2014. In collaboration with outside mentors and financiers, Avatech offers the first-hand experience and resources that local entrepreneurs need to scale their businesses. In order to accommodate the needs of startups in various stages of growth, the organization hosts both a standard accelerator program and the more advanced Avacamp.

  1. Technology Acceleration Center (TAC)

TAC logoA dedicated accelerator, TAC is fully equipped to serve the needs of startups seeking to create groundbreaking products for the people of Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Entrepreneurs who participate in the center’s acceleration program allot 15 percent of their startup’s equity to secure initial seed funding of $15,000 or more. These professionals are then free to embark on TAC’s 12-week startup “bootcamp,” during which time they operate in co-working facilities and obtain practical knowledge from a team of mentors. Once entrepreneurs complete the acceleration program, they will be fully equipped to enter a new phase of fundraising. TAC supports them during this stage by connecting them with venture capitalists and other investors from around the globe.

  1. Isfahan Plus

isfahanplusEstablished in 2015, Isfahan Plus began as a small network of innovative professionals who sought to benefit the startup scene in Isfahan. Since then, this nonprofit organization has risen to become the first social entrepreneurship initiative in Iran. Focused mainly on individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, Isfahan Plus has spent years developing a strong ecosystem of support for startups and the people that make them possible. Using this online portal, entrepreneurs can easily connect with funding entities, accelerators, and other support networks to build professional partnerships and develop new ideas. Isfahan Plus also keeps its users up to date with upcoming startup events in the local area and supplies them with important educational materials that will help to guide them to success.

  1. Khoshfekri

khoshfekri logoOne of Iran’s most prominent startup media entities is Khoshfekri, a website that provides local entrepreneurs with all the information that they may need to start their businesses. Through the organization’s website, startup owners can access all manner of educational infographics that cover important business practices such as digital marketing and website development. In addition, Khoshfekri regularly publishes informative articles that offer helpful tips on how to build a thriving startup.

By providing these helpful resources to local entrepreneurs, the organization hopes to empower more young people to start their own businesses. Moreover, Khoshfekri is seeking to create stronger connections between innovative ideas and the sources of capital that can help them make an impact.

  1. Iran Startups

Featured in publications such as TechCrunch and the Financial Tribune, Iran Startups has built a community dedicated to local startups. This outlet provides a means for entrepreneurs to meet with other business owners and mentors from across the globe. To this end, Iran Startups hosts a regular meetup event that welcomes innovators and investment professionals to participate in presentations from guest lecturers featuring startup-focused topics. The organization also runs a number of other programs, including a startup news website called Techly and Iran Startups Wiki, a comprehensive guide to local businesses, funding entities, and accelerators.

7 of the Best Startups for Pet Lovers

pets

For pet lovers, furry (or scaled, or feathered) companions are often one of the most important parts of their lives. Whether you are looking to improve the quality of care for your beloved pet or are simply someone who loves to be around them, there are a number of Middle Eastern Startups that are making it better than ever to be a pet enthusiast.

Here are seven of the best startups for pet lovers in both the Middle East and beyond:

  1. Cat2See

cat2see logoMany pet owners find it difficult to think of leaving their animals alone at home all day. While some pets may grow bored due to lack of stimulation, other, more mischievous pets may cause a mess or get into things they shouldn’t. One Tel Aviv, Israel based-startup has found the solution to this dilemma in the form of automated pet care. Called Cat2See, this company has developed a range of mobile-controlled devices that help pet owners keep their feline companions busy throughout the day.

By working with Texas Instruments, the startup’s founder, Amir Guterman, was able to create a webcam device that allows owners to watch their cats and interact with them in real time from anywhere in the world. Cat2See has also developed an  rod device to which owners can attach their cats’ favorite toys. While watching their pet on the webcam, owners can control the rod to provide entertainment and stimulation. In addition to these devices, Cat2See has also unveiled a smart feeder that owners can use to arrange daily feedings or disburse food when needed.

  1. Dogs Talk

Dogs talk logoEgyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Farouk developed his startup, Dogs Talk, to provide a platform for local dog lovers to get to know one another. Whether owners are looking to make friends in their local area or around the globe, they can download the startup’s iOS or Android app and find a community of other owners as well as breeding professionals and veterinarians.

Through the Dogs Talk social network, dog lovers can ask important questions about their pets and receive timely answers from experts, share photos of their furry friends, and arrange for local pet events. Individuals can even use the platform to find new friends for their dogs by searching for other owners in their area.

  1. The Ailuromania Café

ailuromania cafe logoIn 2015, sisters Alla and Iman Ahmed Bin Farid Al Aulaqi brought the global trend of cat cafes to Dubai by establishing their own version as a startup. In their family-run startup, the sisters leverage their expertise in marketing and finance to run The Ailuromania Café, a business that allows customers to enjoy food and coffee in the company of feline companions.

As the first startup of its kind in the UAE, the café attracted 100 patrons during its opening weekend alone. The Ailuromania Café debuted with 14 cats, each of which were strays before the sisters rescued them from the streets. Visitors can book time in the café online or simply walk in if they wish to spend the day with the startup’s resident cats.

  1. On Leash

Looking to put her love of dogs to good use, 18-year-old Egyptian entrepreneur Mariam El Wetery established On Leash. Marketed as the first dog-walking business in Cairo, Egypt, the startup began as a small service in Heliopolis. As demand grew, however, El Wetery expanded On Leash to other locations and began to build a trained staff.

The startup now caters to the community of dog owners who do not have time to regularly walk their own pets. Each walk lasts for 40 minutes, during which time On Leash’s professional walkers teach dogs the proper way to behave in different situations. Using the startup’s smartphone app, owners can track each walk as it happens to see where their dogs are and ensure that they are safe.

  1. Dubai Pet Food

Established in 2011, Dubai Pet Food provides an avenue through which the UAE’s pet owners can acquire all the supplies that they need for their dogs, cats, birds, and more. Whether they visit the startup’s online shop or one of its brick-and-mortar locations, consumers can browse through a stock of more than 12,000 pet essentials.

Dubai Pet Food also offers an array of Pet Packs, which contain food and toys for animals of all sizes and breeds. Emphasizing convenience, the startup can deliver its consumers’ orders any day of the week. Regardless of where they live in the UAE, clients typically receive their purchases within one day.

  1. Precious Paws Pet Spa

precious paws logoOne of the first Middle Eastern startups of its kind, Precious Paws Pet Spa is providing a means for Dubai’s pet owners to pamper their furry friends. During their visit, individuals can arrange for their pets to receive a number of spa services such as teeth cleanings, bathing, and even aromatherapy.

In order to provide its animal clients with the best quality products, Precious Paws has cultivated a collection of spa essentials from some of the biggest brands in the world. Outside of its regular services, the startup operates a shop through which it sells pet merchandise.

  1. Digi-Dog

digi dog logoIn order to accommodate the needs of its growing network of dog owners, Tel Aviv has launched a new startup initiative called Digi-Dog. This service, which is available through a mobile application, provides locals with important pet-oriented information.

Whether dog owners are looking to connect with local dog walkers, find new veterinarians, or learn about special pet deals at nearby businesses, they will receive relevant updates through Digi-Dog. Taking influence from Tel Aviv’s Digi-Tel service, this platform is making the city more dog-friendly than ever.