Continuing our MENA Series A Programs

500 continues to work hard to bring the best industry knowledge and mentoring from our Silicon Valley-based global network to our programs in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. For this reason, we are pleased to announce the startups participating in the 3rd Batch of our regional Series A Program, the MENA Dojo.

The MENA Dojo program is part of a continued partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) which was launched in the MENA region 2 years ago. We are also honored to welcome Ahli United Bank in Kuwait as our new strategic partner in this year’s program alongside Zain as our gold partner.  Other partners include Niu, KAFO and Sirdab Labs.

The MENA Dojo program selects applicants from the region with significant traction that are on pace to raise a Series A within 6-9 months, helping them dramatically increase their growth.

The program consists of 4 weeks of intense growth sessions run by our global mentors, with one-on-one sessions that allow 500’s seasoned team of experts to transfer knowledge and best practices for rapid startup growth and distribution to the founders. Proven growth techniques are carefully designed to help the startups fine-tune their product positioning and prioritize the next stage of development on their roadmap to scale key metrics.

The month-long program kicked off on March 31st and culminates with an Investor Day pitch event on May 1st in Kuwait, where the startups will each pitch to a room of potential investors.  

Startups from all across the MENA region have attended previous programs, including the current cohort, which consists of 14 startups headquartered in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait. The companies in the Batch 3 MENA Dojo extend across a number of industries including FinTech, FoodTech, Transportation, TravelTech, MarTech, Advertising, IT solutions, Healthcare, Network & Community, Hospitality, eCommerce, biometrics, R&D, IoT, and Real Estate.

Startups participating in the MENA Dojo receive an investment of $150,000 from our MENA focused fund, 500 Falcons.¹ With the addition of these 14 great startups, the fund has now committed to invest in over 100 regional companies to-date since launching in 2017.² The 500 Falcons fund recently announced an oversubscribed final closing at US $33 million.  

We hope to see you on Investor Day, on May 1st in Kuwait, as these founders showcase their startups to an audience of globally-based investors, partners and distinguished guests. Accredited investors interested in attending Investor Day, can contact [email protected] for details.

Without further ado, please meet the companies in Batch 3 of the MENA Dojo:

ADGS Computer System is an R&D company working in the fields of behavioral biometrics, artificial intelligence applied to human language, and emergent behavior applied to biomedical simulations. It has developed STROKK, a revolutionary software that makes stolen passwords useless to hackers by recognizing how you type.
Sector: IT Solutions // B2B
Founders: Hassan Al Ansari, Christophe Billiottet

Ajar Online is a cloud service providing efficient property management tools including quick and simplified online rent payment and collection processes for landlords to improve collection performance, understand their financial position instantly, and help make the right decisions.
Sector: FinTech, Real Estate // B2B, B2B2C
Founders: Shaheen Al Khudhari

AlgoDriven helps car dealers, finance teams and insurance companies accurately price cars by providing comprehensive, accurate and actionable vehicle identification and pricing data.
Sector: Transport // B2B
Founders: Glenn Harwood, Jaron Crossland

Buseet is an app allowing busy commuters to share a bus with others from a convenient pickup point nearby.
Sector: Transport // B2C, B2B
Founders: Amr Elsawy

CODED is an educational company that helps young Arabs get high-paying jobs and become tech founders by teaching them how to code, offline or online, Arabic.
Sector: EdTech // B2B, B2C, B2G
Founders: Ahmad Marafi and Hashim Bahbahani

Dailymealz is a food subscription app to help employees save time and eat healthier by delivering fresh healthy meals to their offices every day.
Sector: FoodTech // B2B,B2B2C
Founders: Mohamed ElZalabany, Abdelrahman Said, Abdallah Mohamed, Motaz AbuOnq

Fatora.io is a smart online invoicing platform that streamlines online payments between merchants and their clients in the MENA region, powered by AI.
Sector: FinTech, E-Commerce // B2B,B2B2C
Founders: Waleed Alyafie

Garment IO is a plug and play software/hardware solution providing garment factory managers and owners a complete overview of production processes, labor performances and cost calculations and helps boost the productivity of garment factories via IoT.
Sector: IoT // B2B
Founders: Ahmed Nounou, Mahmoud Sabae

Keepface is a marketplace to help brands collaborating with influencers to boost marketing ROI in emerging markets. With over 18,000 registered influencers, Keepface allows brands to reach an audience of 1.7 billion.
Sector: Advertising & Marketing // B2B
Founders: Vagif Abbasov, Elshad Yusifli, Emin Valiyev

Jobedu is a streetwear brand that allows youth to express themselves through creative, original and locally-relevant designs. With partners such as Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, DC, Warner Bros, Universal Studios, Viacom and an army of super cool designers, Jobedu aims to be the go-to pop culture e-commerce destination.
Sector: E-Commerce // B2C, B2B2C
Founders: Tamer AlMasri

MAGNiTT is the most comprehensive data platform that connects investors to startups and provides access to localized tools and research. With over, 10,000 startups from across the Middle East, MAGNiTT is the go-to online platform for the MENA startup ecosystem.
Sector: Network & Community // Platform
Founders: Philip Bahoshy

Moodfit is the 1st online marketplace in the MENA region that matches young professionals with the right interior designer to help them furnish and decorate their spaces.
Sector: Consumer Service // B2B2C, B2C
Founders: Tarek Jaroudi, Ghassan Abi Fadel, Mohamad Sabouneh

Tripdizer is a Travel Tech company that enables millennial travelers to instantly plan and book personalized travel itineraries by learning about their personality and taste.
Sector: TravelTech // B2C
Founders: Ziad Eladawy, Hatem Ayoub, Yara Yehia, Mohamed Mostafa

Vapulus is a global leading payment gateway that grants you access to customers through its customer acquisition and loyalty tools and enables businesses to monetize, grow and analyze.
Sector: FinTech // B2B, B2C
Founders: Abdelrahman Elsharawy

¹ 500 Startups programs, investor education services, strategic partnership consulting services and events are operated by 500 Startups Incubator, L.L.C (together with its affiliates, “500 Startups”) and the funds advised by 500 Startups Management Company, L.L.C do not participate in any revenue generated by these activities.

² Approximated as at 4/17/2019  based on internal data and has not been independently verified.

Notes:

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