Most renowned publications worldwide, especially those from the US and Europe would always do a round-up of startups in many regions worldwide. Gaining recognition from the likes of TechCrunch and Engadget is a seal of honour for any startup, especially in the Middle East.
I’m an avid reader of Fast Company, and it just so happened that they do their annual ranking of the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture for 2019. Aside from the global companies, Fast Company also did one for the Middle East region and some home-grown names have made the list.
Anghami: digital music community
Anghami still reigns supreme in the Middle East, even with Deezer entering the region in October followed by Spotify weeks later. Even with their large collection of Arabic music combined with their first mover advantage, Anghami still leads the pack with more than 70 million users in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Helping to combat piracy in the region, Anghami brings more than 30 Million songs to listeners with
Careem: ride-sharing as a local enterprise
Uber is the globally synonymous name for ride-hailing and they’re already present in the Middle East region. Given that they haven’t expanded that much due to many other regulatory challenges, their local competitor Careem has been making inroads across the region.
Based in the UAE, Careem already covers more than 100 cities stretching from North Africa to Pakistan. Knowing that credit cards still have a long way to go in most places where cash is still dominant, they beat Uber to the game by offering cash payments across their network.
They’ve remained focused as a local enterprise with regional ambitions, adding extra security features for females and even having female Careem ‘captains’ in some of their markets where cultural dynamics have necessitated it.
Jamalon: access to Arabic books
It’s an ongoing challenge of finding Arabic books in the region and across the world. Most of the times, you’d have to wait for local book fairs where you could buy them directly from publishers in attendance.
Fetchr: Tracking and delivery using GPS
It’s a hassle when it comes to package deliveries in the Middle East, due to the absence of a formal addressing system. Using the power of built-in GPS inside smartphones,
In absence of a formal street address system,
P.S: to celebrate the