Google announced the list of startups for the second cohort of ‘Google for Startups Accelerator Middle East and North Africa’, a three-month digital accelerator programme for Seed to Series A technology startups based in the region. The twelve technology startups come from six Arab countries across automotive, agriculture, fitness, fintech, real-estate, e-commerce and entertainment.
The startups were selected based on criteria like the problem they are trying to solve and how it creates value for users, in addition to their willingness to use Machine Learning technology to solve business challenges and successfully scale in the long run. Here are the technology startups that have been selected for the second cohort - five of which are women-led businesses:
· Bankiom (UAE): A super-banking app that allows customers in the GCC to open an account and get a spending card on their phones in 3 minutes or less.
· Invygo (UAE): An app-based car subscription service that provides customers access to dealership verified cars.
· OTO (Saudi Arabia): OTO is the shipping software that helps online businesses to ship, track and return their ecommerce orders with the best shipping carriers from a 1 single dashboard.
· Sabbar (Saudi Arabia): A B2B on-demand staffing platform that connects businesses with vetted & qualified individual workers in the retail, hospitality, and entertainment industries. [ Female co-founded business]
· Ejaro (Saudi Arabia): The first licensed peer-to-peer vehicle sharing platform in the GCC, connecting local vehicle owners with individuals who are looking to rent vehicles.
· ElCoach (Egypt): A fitness app that offers hyper-personalized fitness & nutrition plans based on each individual needs & goals, and fueled by the best-in-class AI model & the expertise and knowledge of leading fitness and nutrition experts in the MENA region.
· FreshSource (Egypt): A B2B fresh food-supply platform transforming the lives of producers, businesses and consumers through the use of data and technology promoting fairness, transparency and farmer empowerment. [ Female co-founded business]
· Hekouky (Egypt): An online legal-tech platform that digitizes and simplifies the user’s experience with the law and legal services. [ women-led business]
· Zammit (Egypt): An e-commerce website builder that helps merchants build websites without any prior technical knowledge with access to local shipping and payment enablers.
· Mawsuah (Jordan): An online Arabic content rewarding-platform for expert communities using Blockchain technology. [ Female co-founded business]
· MyTindy (Morocco): A marketplace that introduces everyone to Morocco’s local products designed by talented craftspeople. [ Female co-founded business]
· SINC (Bahrain): A user-friendly mobile platform for staff to share real-time data on-site, which bridges the gap between the worksite and the office environments.
The accelerator programme will run virtually starting this week till the end of September. Selected startups will receive mentorship in Machine Learning, Cloud, digital marketing, product design / UX, customer acquisition, and leadership development, and will be connected with VCs. Additionally, Google will offer workshops on ‘Design Thinking’ to all startups that have applied for the second cohort.
‘Google for Startups Accelerator Middle East and North Africa’ was announced last year as part of ‘Grow Stronger with Google’, a program to accelerate the Mena region’s economic recovery by offering digital tools, training and financial grants to support local businesses and job seekers. The first cohort included 10 top startups from six Arab countries: Abwaab (Jordan), Carers (Jordan), Chefaa (Egypt), DABCHY (Tunisia), Designhubz (UAE), Lamsa (UAE), Lendo (Saudi Arabia), Nafas Meditation App (Oman), Viavii (Jordan) and 360VUZ (UAE).
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