Dealmaking in the Gulf region rebounded this week led by Emirates Telecommunication Group Company e& buying a majority stake in the super app of Uber’s Middle East subsidiary Careem for $400 million.
A number of startups including fintech player Hakbah, media localization startup Ollang, tech startup Flyksoft, and renewable energy player Ryse Energy also received funding this year.
Telecom and investment major e& acquired a 50.03% stake in Careem’s super app, which will be hived off from the ride-hailing business. Uber will retain 100% ownership of Careem’s ride-hailing business.
Uber bought the Dubai-based ride-hailing startup in 2019 for $3.1 billion. Although Careem became a wholly owned Uber subsidiary, it continued to operate under its own brand.
With the new investment, Careem plans to expand the super app by adding new partner services to the core food, grocery and fintech services that it currently offers. The app is used in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
Saudi fintech startup Hakbah raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round to fuel expansion in Saudi Arabia and invest in its tech platform. The round was led by Global Ventures and Aditum Investment Management.
Founded in 2018 by Dimitar Kazakov and Naif AbuSaida, Hakbah is a social savings platform that allows users to save and access funds.
It will use the funding to improve user journey and develop its savings engine algorithm.
Turkish media localization startup Ollang raised $1.5 million in seed funding to expand globally and continue development of its workflow management system Olabs.
Founded by Ebru Yildirim and M Aziz Ulak in 2019, Ollang provides AI-enabled closed-captioning, subtitling, and dubbing services in more than 60 languages. The investment brings total funds raised to $1.62 million.
Ollang works with streaming platforms including Netflix and YouTube, TV broadcasters, e-learning platforms, and social media content creators.
Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy player Ryse Energy raised $15 million in growth funding round led by RWE Energy Transition Investments to fuel its expansion in international markets.
Set up in 2019 by Alistair Munro, Ryse Energy is a renewable energy technology company that combines wind energy with solar PV and energy storage.
With the funding, Ryse aims to enter new markets like North America and Africa besides diversifying its business model into energy-as-a-service. The company has manufacturing facilities in the UK and Spain, with sales offices across the globe including the USA, Europe, the UAE, and India. It has sold or installed more than 4,000 units for clients worldwide.
Flyksoft, a UAE-based business management software provider for salons and spas, raised $55,000 in seed funding from angel investors. The investment is aimed to boost its brand awareness and media presence.
The startup plans to launch the first beta version of its SaaS booking software in May 2023 and will begin registering and on-boarding clients from May onwards in the UAE and Gulf market.
Founded by Mohammad Ibrahim, Flytsoft is aimed to help businesses automate appointments, monitor inventory and process payments smoothly.