Dubai and the UAE raise the stakes when it comes to their startup ecosystems
The ‘Dubai Pulse Platform’ was announced in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, hoping to become the backbone of transformations and shift towards smart technologies. The platform provides very valuable data for entrepreneurs to conduct important research in the Emirate before launching their firms.
Sheikh Hamdan ordered all government departments to populate this platform with their data and fortunately, it is already exhibiting remarkable results for entrepreneurs.
The rising number of startups setting up their headquarters in Dubai is a testament to the Emirate’s efforts to attract innovation and progress in the city.
Amassing a customer base of 30,000 and processing 300,000 items every month, Washmen, a Dubai-based startup offering dry cleaning and laundry services recently raised $6.2 million in a Series B round. The funding will be used to churn its local growth and presence.
Moreover, Dubai SME organized a programme in London from 19-23 August in collaboration with The Co-Working PopUp, an incubator and co-working space certified by Dubai SME, to take 10 UAE-based entrepreneurs to the incubator’s London offshoot for a five-day program.
According to MAGNiTT, Nana Direct, a Saudi Arabian online grocery startup launched in 2016, has raised $6.6 million in its Series A round of funding.
Furthermore, five new funded healthcare startups have set their headquarters in the UAE now:
- Altibbi, an online digital health startup available 24/7 which has raised $8.5 million in funding.
- Health at Hand raised $4 million in total, becoming the first healthcare provider licensed by Dubai Health Authority. The startup gives its customers access to online video consultations without any waiting time from the comfort of their homes.
- Healthigo, who have raised $1.3 million in 3 funding rounds. Healthigo connects both patients and care seekers to hospitals, clinics, doctors, medical centers and insurance providers.
- Meddy, which has raised a total of $687,000 allows its customers to choose the doctors of their choice through the profile and reviews available on the platform.
- New Bridge Pharmaceuticals, raising $12 million in a Series B funding round in 2012, a company which develops and sells oncology and supportive care products.
The UAE has become an important incubator of technology startups. Since 2015, over 50% of the top 10 funded tech startups in the UAE are working in the e-commerce industry. In 2018, the UAE’s top ten funded tech startups raised a total of $10M+ each while Souq.com and Careem are valued at $1B each, making them the two of the most successful UAE based companies.