Dubai startup launches AI-driven SaaS solution

Oasis Defender, a UAE-based startup, is advancing multi-cloud security with its AI-driven SaaS solution for cloud network security, designed for unified visualization and configuration across multiple clouds.In 2023, the UAE cybersecurity market is valued at approximately USD 522.06 million and is projected to reach USD 950 million by 2028, showcasing a CAGR of 12.72% from 2023 to 2028. Although the UAE ranks second worldwide in cloud adoption, businesses in the region are also facing a surge in cyberattacks. These attacks lead to breaches of sensitive data and result in substantial financial losses, underscoring the need for robust cybersecurity for both cloud and multi-cloud adopters.Oasis Defender offers a SaaS solution for cloud network security. Powered by AI, their platform ensures safe and secure cloud network configurations. The platform consolidates security details from various clouds into a single, user-friendly interface, helping businesses reduce human errors, swiftly identify potential breaches, and stay compliant with the data and privacy regulations across the GCC region and others.Among the key features that this SaaS cloud network security solution offers are:Securing the entire cloud infrastructure across multiple providersOffering a seamless process for visualizing and managing multi-cloud security configurationsUsing AI and machine learning to detect potential vulnerabilities and threatsConsolidating security data from various cloud providers into a unified, user-friendly dashboardLeveraging the strengths of each cloud for enhanced securityOasis Defender aims to foster collaboration and innovation within the cybersecurity community to tackle the digital challenges contemporary businesses face. An interactive demo of their AI-driven cloud network security solution is now available for security enthusiasts. "We're glad to announce that our SaaS solution for cloud network security is ready for public evaluation," stated Michael Rostov, CEO of Oasis Defender. "We're dedicated to continuous innovation and updates for our platform, and we welcome security experts to contribute to its enhancement."Oasis Defender encourages B2B users, developers, security professionals, and IT decision-makers to explore their solutions and provide valuable feedback and reviews.

XPANCEO raises $40mln to launch the first smart contact lenses for AR vision

XPANCEO, a deep tech startup, has raised a $40 million seed round to launch the first contact lenses with AR vision features. The round was led by Hong Kong-based Opportunity Ventures (Asia). The funds will be invested to launch the next prototype, in which the company will gather several features in one device.After several attempts by other companies to create smart lenses, the XPANCEO team has created and successfully tested in the laboratory three separate prototypes to enable night vision and zoom, real-time health monitoring, and the ability to see video and graphic content in AR. The new device, which is the world’s first ultra thin lens, feels as natural to the wearer as their own vision. It is made of advanced optical materials (including low-dimensional and van der Waals materials), which exhibit record-breaking refractive indices and anisotropy and maintain excellent optical properties. The new device is aimed to unleash the full potential of AR technology by making it accessible and easy to use.The company was founded by Valentyn S. Volkov, a Ukrainian scientist who boasts over 7000 citations in some of the most respected international media, and Roman Axelrod, an experienced entrepreneur with three previous exits. XPANCEO's multidisciplinary team includes over 50 outstanding scientists, engineers and executive leaders from top universities, research institutions and deep tech companies, and gathers expertise both in science and novel technologies as well as product management and development in complex markets. XPANCEO also collaborates with top scientists from universities all around the globe, such as the Donostia International Physics Center (Spain), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), National University of Singapore (Singapore), University of Oviedo (Spain),University of Manchester (UK), Aix-Marseille University (France) and the University of Zaragoza among others to create the first all-in-one prototype by 2026.Co-founder and Scientific Partner, Valentyn S. Volkov, Ph.D. says: ''We are targeting, at least, the $790 billion Augmented Reality and Contact Lenses market, and creating the first device in the market that will allow us to use all apps and software in a single contact lens interface. Our device will effectively merge all your gadgets into one. XPANCEO was recognized as one of the top five optic laboratories in the world by international consulting firm BCG, and has practical experience in developing and studying unique materials (like graphene and other 2D materials), opening a way for the realization of next-generation ultra-compact optoelectronic devices."The use of classical optoelectronic materials and technologies has proven insufficient to realise this project, as the resulting components are too bulky to be effectively integrated into a practical and user-friendly contact lens. XPANCEO combines over 20 patented technologies in Advanced Optic and Photonics, Novel material, AI, and Neural Interfacing to create ultra-compact and highly efficient optoelectronic devices in smart contact lenses, paving the way for a gradual transition from traditional silicon technologies to the "graphene valley’’ future.The high refractive indices, coupled with the giant anisotropy of the materials used in waveguide-based devices, are key factors that enable a more efficient light bending and guiding process compared to modern optical devices. This opens up possibilities for the realisation of ultra-compact optical elements. Another key technology developed by XPANCEO is its flexible and transparent electronics, based on highly conductive quasi-2D metallic films with thicknesses of only a few nanometers. To engage with these technologies, we employ AI to develop models capable of accurate predictions regarding the optical characteristics of similar materials. Neural Interfacing gives the user full control over the applications, without the need for awkward eye movements, blinks, or extra controllers.Opportunity Venture’s (Asia) Managing Director Philip Ma says: “We led this round of funding as a testament to the fact that XPANCEO has not merely an ambition but also a capacity to deliver on its product vision. We believe that now XPANCEO has all the resources needed to drive their R&D and product design forward, and do it even faster. Opportunity Venture (Asia) sees the potential in XPANCEO to define the next generation of computing and to become a major player in the world of personal tech in the post smartphone era."

The world's largest startup showcase kicks off in Dubai

Expand North Star, the world's largest startup showcase, kicked off yesterday at the new Dubai Harbour venue, featuring the latest innovations in robotics, AI, and entrepreneurship. The four-day event brings together 1800 startups from 100 countries and over 1,000 investors with over $1 trillion under management.Meet ARTEMIS, the World's Fastest-Walking Humanoid RobotOne of the event's highlights was the first live stage demonstration of ARTEMIS, the world's fastest-walking humanoid robot, developed by UCLA researchers. This versatile robot can walk on any terrain using custom-designed actuators that mimic biological muscles, unlike most robots with rigid, position-controlled actuators.ARTEMIS stands at 4 feet, 8 inches and weighs 85 pounds. It can run and jump on rough, unstable surfaces with a speed of 2.1 m/s. The developers' goal is for the autonomous soccer playing robot team to defeat a human world championship team by 2050.Dr Dennis Hong, the visionary behind this groundbreaking innovation, explained that the key behind ARTEMIS' excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run was the ability to get both feet off the ground while in motion, a revolutionary feat for robots.Empowering Youth Entrepreneurs to Shape the FutureExpand North Star also hosted YouthX Unipreneur, the biggest youth entrepreneurship programme in the region, inspiring students to become the chief architects of the future. The programme attracted more than 1,500 students from over 40 schools and universities, who pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of experts. More than 600 youth ambassadors and 50 on-stage and off-stage engagements were also part of the programme.Hassan Sabt, President of Dubai Youth Council, highlighted Expand North Star's significance as a platform for young investors and startups to learn from global industry leaders, compete in live events, share ideas and develop leadership skills."The Dubai Youth Council was founded under the direction of our leadership to empower Emirati youth to take an active role and lead strategic industries. The platform also fosters connections while maximizing efforts towards achieving national and global goals. There is no better investment in a country than investing in youth.” he said."Our partnership with GITEX YouthX at Expand North Star is just the beginning of much bigger plans to assume more impactful measures on behalf of Emirati youth," added Sabt.Leveraging AI/ML to Create Products that Make an ImpactAnother key session at Expand North Star was a panel discussion on using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create products that dent the universe. The panel featured product managers from global unicorns such as Bolt, Reddit, and, who shared their best practices and tips for founders, including Ali Rana, VP of Product at Bolt, Mayank Yadav, Director of Product at Reddit, and Sanchit Juneja, Director of Big Data and ML at panellists cautioned against falling for the AI hype. Adopting technology for its own sake with no added value is a sure way to fail as an entrepreneur. Technology, the audience heard, must solve an existing problem. That said, the speakers warned, business owners must keep abreast of technological evolution as many paradigms have changed, affecting careers people thought were indestructible.Demystifying the Entrepreneur JourneyGary Blowers, CEO of UAE-based LVL Well-being, shared his experience raising funds for his startup on the Spotlight Stage. The company joined an accelerator program in July 2021, hoping to raise capital in six months. Pitches to hundreds of investors yielded nothing. "Raising capital is a marathon, not a sprint. It's also essential to understand that everyone's journey in raising capital is different, and it takes time in this challenging market. But don't get too caught up with raising capital that you forget to grow the business; keep one eye on the commercials," he urged. "I've learned some valuable lessons during this process," he continued. "First, your data room is crucial to your success. Keep it updated to reflect your evolving business. Second, be brutally honest with yourself and your team. Communicate candidly, even when things don't go as planned."Blowers highlighted the importance of the founder and team's well-being. "The entrepreneurial journey can negatively impact mental health, leading to burnout and depression. Prioritize your well-being and create a healthy work culture. Taking care of yourself and your team is key to completing the fundraising marathon and being ready to win at the end."Expand North Star is the ultimate global destination for startup innovation and inspiration. The event will run until 18 October 2023 at the Dubai Harbour, the Middle East's biggest iconic superyacht hub.

Qadreya Al Awadhi's quest: Revolutionizing baby nutrition with Bumblebee

In this captivating interview, Bumblebee founder Qadreya Al Awadhi shares the heartwarming and inspiring tale of the company’s origins. From the discovery that sparked her mission to the challenges faced along the way, Qadreya Al Awadhi's insights offer a glimpse into the world of nutritious baby meal plans. As Bumblebee continues to empower parents with healthier choices and cultivate a positive food culture, her vision stands as a beacon of hope for the well-being of our youngest generation. Can you share the story behind the creation of Bumblebee? What inspired you to start a business focused on nutritious meal plans for babies and toddlers?I was babysitting my friend's son, and was feeding him the supermarket brand pack. I noticed that it lacked taste and colour. So I turned packet around and found that it was manufactured before the baby was even born! This is why I started Bumblebee, to offer parents healthy, delicious and nutritious ways to feed their children.How did your experience babysitting your friend's son lead you to recognize the need for healthier and more nutritious meal options for children in the region?I was looking for alternatives to feed him but couldn't find any, so I had no choice but to cook for him. I started experimenting with my family and friends and did my own market search. I took all their feedback and developed the products with the help of a child nutritionist.In a market where baby food options already exist, what unique aspects does Bumblebee bring to the table? How do your products stand out from the competition?Ours is the only frozen baby food in the country. The packaging is reusable and resealable, specifically made for easy travel to help working moms and moms on the go. Of course, contrary to supermarket brands, our method of cooking actually preserves the nutrients of the meals.How do you ensure that each product is both nutritious and flavorful?Bumblebee emphasizes the use of locally sourced ingredients and hormone-free, grass-fed proteins. How do these sourcing choices contribute to the quality and healthiness of your products?In today's world of consumption and globalization, especially with the rise in global population, the need to feed all those people is being advantage of by greedy corporations. For example, many companies pup their chickens full of antibiotics and hormones to grow bigger in a matter of weeks. Many vegetables are sprayed with chemicals to make them grow bigger and retain their colour. Studies have shown that none of those are actually healthy for the human body; hence we make it a mission to protect the little ones from harmful chemicals. Our local farmers do not use any chemicals. In fact, we are growing our own farm to self-supply as the business grows.With concerns about childhood obesity on the rise, how does Bumblebee's approach to meal plans contribute to addressing this issue?At Bumblebee, we do not use any processed foods, any salt, sugar or preservatives. We believe in keeping our food clean, as data shows that introducing ingredients like salt, sugar, and butter actually contributes to childhood obesity. Our 'fats' are actually pure ingredients like avocados, olives, or nuts. We believe in making our foods from scratch; this also includes our own sauces and pastas so we can control the ingredients put inside.What challenges did you face when starting and growing Bumblebee? How did you overcome these challenges?The biggest challenge was arranging logistics. My food is temperature-sensitive; and finding a partner to deliver the packages on time in a temperature-controlled van was the biggest challenge. In fact, I went through 13 suppliers before finding the right partner.Bumblebee's mission includes fostering a healthy relationship with food for children. Can you elaborate on how your products and approach achieve this goal?I noticed that there is a lack of vegetables in children's diets as popular cuisines mostly focus on carbs and protein. The lack of vegetables, especially green veggies, often leads kids to grow and become picky eaters. At Bumblebee we have a team of certified chefs that understands the complexity of flavour and cleverly cook the less popular vegetables in a method that appeals to children. By introducing children to new ingredients, we help them grow out of their picky eating phase and form a healthy relationship with food.The Immunity-Boost and Iron Man Pack are recent additions to your product range. Could you share some insights into the nutritional benefits these packs offer for babies?We often have moms reach out to us whose babies have low iron, or are underweight. We carefully created and tested many products to help babies grow healthier in a natural way. For instance, our Iron Man pack has iron-rich ingredients and vitamin C to help aid adsorption. We use natural and clean ingredients like beetroot, broccoli and grass-fed beef.Bumblebee supports the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031. How does your company align with this strategy, and what steps are you taking to contribute to the well-being of children in the UAE?One of the main pillars of the strategy is to build a healthy society; we aim to do so by providing our children with healthy meals that will them grow into becoming healthy adults. We aim to educate caregivers and schools about the importance of early childhood nutrition and the impact it has on adulthood.As a female founder and CEO in the business world, what advice do you have for other aspiring women entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact through their own ventures?I would say study your market, and do your own R&D before you launch to understand the market dynamics. This country has many mechanisms in place to support small businesses and this country also supports women pursuing their passions. I say make use of it and take that leap of faith and invest in yourself.Can you share some success stories or feedback from parents who have used Bumblebee products for their children?We have many happy moms; in fact, most our customers are returning moms. I personally contact parents to get their feedback and much of it has helped me grow. For instance, we launched the Iron Man pack and the Immunity Pack because of their feedback. We also introduced allergen-friendly foods for kids who are sensitive to dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts.In terms of the future, what are your aspirations for Bumblebee? Are there any exciting developments or plans that you can share with us?We hope to grow to become the first choice of meals for moms in the UAE. We are in talks with some retailers to stock our meals at supermarkets, but it is still too early.

Bumblebee: Qadreya Al Awadhi champions nutrient-rich baby meals

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. And Bumblebee was birthed from this very concept. Emirati female-founder, Qadreya Al Awadhi babysat her friend’s son and realized the lack of healthy or nutritious meals available in the region.The 27-year-old Emirati Founder and CEO identified this gap in the market and was determined to help mothers provide a healthy alternative for their babies. Qadreya founded Bumblebee in 2022, as a homegrown business of ready-made frozen meal plans for babies and toddlers.With the rise in awareness of nutritional and safety aspects of baby foods, the home-grown brand also aims to reduce the rates of obesity which results from bad eating habits at an early age. Keeping in mind the importance of serving nutritious food in line with dietary requirements for babies, Bumblebee packs are developed while being rich in flavour without any added salt and sugar or preservatives. All the brand’s ingredients are sourced locally, and the source of protein are hormone-free and grass fed.“I created Bumblebee after I realized the improper food habits consumed by young children. Providing your little ones with the right nutrition and diet can start them on the road to eating right and staying healthy at the outset of their lives and is the best gift you could give them as responsible parents,” states Qadreya.All Bumblebee food is cooked from scratch, and the range offers new flavours and textures with meals to cater for every child’s needs.Discover some of Bumblebee Food’s best-selling products that include Berry Blast; Veggie Mix; Meatballs and Sauce; and Spinach Pancakes. The brand's latest addition, the Immunity-Boost and Iron Man Pack are deliciously crafted to provide the optimal nourishment for your babies.“Bumblebee’s mission is to ensure a child develops a healthy and sustainable relationship with food. Our aim is to find effective ways to address obesity among children; and to be an instrument in supporting the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031,” adds Qadreya.With the use of fresh, organically sourced ingredients, the products can stay in the freezer for two months

UAE-startup Growdash secures $750,000 pre-seed funding to drive GCC expansion

Dubai: UAE-based restaurant-tech startup Growdash has closed a $750,000 pre-seed round of funding, which will help drive expansion across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Cairo-based seed and early-stage venture capital firm Flat6Labs led the round along with participation from Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Judah VC, TPN Investments and several angel investors, such as former Talabat CEO, Abdulhamid Alomar, and serial entrepreneur Zeid Husban.The new capital will be deployed to hire new talent, further augment its offerings with innovative features and expand its services across the wider region, the company said in a statement.Talabat and Deliveroo alumni Sean Trevaskis and Enver Sorkun founded Growdash in 2022. The startup helps restaurants unlock the power of analytics and business intelligence to build and execute growth strategies that positively impact bottom-line profitability.  Growdash currently operates in the UAE and Kuwait. The company is set to launch its SaaS solution in Qatoar and Saudi Arabia this year, followed by expansion into the wider region in early 2024.“We have grown by over 500% this year, so far, which validates the problem we are solving for restaurants,” said Sean Trevaskis, Co-Founder & CEO of Growdash. “This funding will help us further accelerate our growth and achieve our goal of empowering restaurants everywhere to stand out in the highly competitive online food delivery landscape,” he added.

Start-up incubator in5 launches science-focused vertical

TECOM Group PJSC celebrated ten years of enabling Dubai’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through its start-up incubator, in5, by launching in5 Science. Announced in collaboration with Dubai Science Park, the Group’s science-focused ecosystem, the incubator will facilitate entrepreneurship and investment for science-based start-ups under the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ umbrella.The UAE’s emphasis on sustainability, in line with the Road to Net Zero by 2050, COP28, We the UAE 2031, and National Food Security Strategy agendas, has unveiled significant opportunities for innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship across the science sectors. in5 Science’s launch is aligned with these government strategies and supports the UAE’s recognition of 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’. It is also in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’, which promotes foreign direct investment and economic diversification, and raises Dubai’s attractiveness for homegrown and international founders to explore opportunities across health, sustainability, advanced manufacturing, and energy.in5 operates three centres enabling businesses and innovation in Tech in Dubai Internet City, Media in Dubai Production City, and Design in Dubai Design District (d3). The science vertical will expand its offerings to provide start-ups with sector-specific support and facilitate access to investment for founders to set up and scale new businesses. in5 has curated an expert-led advisory board representing industry-leading C-Suite figures from Nexus Resilience Group, Dii Desert Energy, and GMEX Group.On behalf of in5, Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Media City, part of TECOM Group said: “Entrepreneurship powers economic growth. Dubai’s pro-business framework has made it a preferred choice for businesses big and small, established and new. As a leading business enabler in Dubai, TECOM Group has strived to enrich the support and opportunities available to entrepreneurs through in5. Ten years on, we’re proud to see our incubator’s impact on promoting Dubai’s start-up ecosystem and economic diversification efforts across media, tech, and design. The new science vertical will expand our offerings to meet the needs of emerging economic opportunities in the science sector while securing Dubai’s reputation as a global business hub.”Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Science Park, part of TECOM Group said: “Science is a fast-growing field in Dubai, underpinned by government strategies across sustainability, healthcare, and R&D. Dubai Science Park plays a pivotal role in nurturing an ecosystem that promotes these economic roadmaps by empowering leading and international science-focused businesses to set up and expand operations. in5 Science will enable entrepreneurs to engage a world-class community of researchers and industry leaders and inject innovation and competitiveness to take the UAE’s science ambitions to the next level.”in5 Science will also present a curated calendar of networking events, panel discussions and educational forums to cover pertinent topics by thought leaders in the science industry. Collaborating with Dubai Science Park allows in5 to tap into a global ecosystem of MNEs and regional SMEs across pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy and environment, research, and development for partnership opportunities, and access to specialised facilities.A growing science hub in MENARising government investments, a multifaceted economic diversification plan, and the growing regional demand for specialised healthcare and sustainable consumerism have directed focus to the UAE on science and technology. The UAE’s comprehensive healthcare system, strengthened by private sector investments, has secured Dubai’s status as the region’s number one and the world’s number six medical tourism destination, according to the latest Medical Tourism Index.Similarly, a global call for sustainability reflects national agendas for advanced manufacturing, economic growth, and food security. For example, Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates, geared at promoting localised manufacturing, emphasise innovation in advanced technology to enable sustainable practices and competitiveness.In the past decade, in5 has seen a marked growth in science-focused tech start-ups. A dedicated science vertical aims to streamline and customise the supportive ecosystem for new businesses while connecting founders to a global community and purpose-built infrastructure at Dubai Science Park.in5 already supports several ambitious science-led start-ups, including:We4Recycle: A mobile app-based door-to-door valet trash service that simplifies waste segregation at home and strives to increase the awareness of sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyles.Greener Crop: A start-up enabling vertical farming in the Middle East and Africa by offering a range of services, from farm set-up and maintenance to growth management, harvesting, and produce sales. The start-up has customers across the US, UAE, Oman and Qatar.Air to MC2: A deep-tech start-up that aims to revolutionise cooling and heating by creating affordable, patented tech products for air conditioning, water and energy industries and consumers.Sentient Labs: The start-up employs advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to promote sea clean-up.RelphaCare Technologies: A social healthcare tracking platform that enables real-time communication and monitoring by doctors and family.A decade of entrepreneurial growthin5 provides start-ups in technology, media, and design a platform to scale up, and access to advisory, mentorship, and potential investment opportunities. Since its inception in 2013, in5 has supported over 750 start-ups and entrepreneurs, and attracted founders representing more than 50 nationalities, including India, Russia, France, the UK and more. Breakout stars include buy-now-pay-later platform Tabby; Munch:On, a food operations service acquired by Careem in 2022; and regional music streaming giant Anghami.in5 is a start-up incubator part of TECOM Group’s portfolio, which also offers value-added platforms such as co-working spaces (D/Quarters), freelance packages (GoFreelance), and an integrated smart services platform (axs).TECOM Group’s portfolio also comprises 10 business districts, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Design District (d3) and Dubai Industrial City.

hriwe expands into Saudi through partnership with Al Mutlaq

Thriwe, an Indian start-up based in New Delhi, has revealed its plans to extend its presence in Saudi Arabia through a strategic collaboration with Al Mutlaq, a conglomerate that focuses on venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investments.As part of this partnership, Al Mutlaq has made an undisclosed investment in Thriwe to provide financial support for the company's launch and operations in the region. Thriwe aims to achieve approximately $100 million in revenue from the Saudi market within the next 36 months.Thriwe will utilize the newly acquired capital to enhance its loyalty and rewards ecosystem. Additionally, the company will allocate funds to enhance customer experience, devise regional operational strategies, and strengthen technological solutions within Saudi Arabia.Commenting on the joint venture with Al Mutlaq, Dhruv Verma, the Founder & CEO of Thriwe, stated: “We are pleased to partner with Thriwe as they expand their operations into Saudi Arabia. At Al Mutlaq Group, we believe in investing in innovative and disruptive companies that have the potential to transform industries. We see Thriwe as a valuable partner in the loyalty and rewards space, and we are excited to support their growth in the region. In addition, Their platform offers a unique solution that can benefit businesses of all sizes (from SME to Large Scale Industry), and we look forward to working with Thriwe to bring this solution to our clients and partners in Saudi Arabia." In response to this development, the CEO of Al Mutlaq Group said: "We have been doing reasonably well in Dubai and have been associated with various financial institutions like FAB, Mashreq, RakBank, ENBD, etc, running as managing loyalty programs for them as well. Our goal is to empower businesses in Saudi Arabia with a user-friendly and customizable platform that will enable them to build stronger relationships with their customers by driving loyalty and retention. We are excited to partner with Al Mutlaq Group, a leading conglomerate in the region, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership."Photo credits: Unsplash In collaboration with Allison Saeng

Vivium Holding joins MEVP as Cornerstone Partner

Dubai: Vivium Holding, a progressive single-family office headquartered in Dubai, has announced its partnership with MEVP (Middle East Venture Partners), a leading venture capital asset manager in the MENA region, as Cornerstone Partner. The collaboration marks an important milestone in expanding both companies’ investments horizons, fostering growth and innovation in the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem.MEVP has been at the forefront of venture capital investing in the MENA region for more than a decade with a strong record of successful investments in technology start-ups across various sectors. Vivium Holding’s mission to invest in talent, ideas and build brands to leave a meaningful generational impact establishes powerful synergies that strengthen the collaboration. By joining forces with MEVP as Cornerstone Partner, Vivium aims to leverage its expertise and resources to identify and support the most promising technology start-ups in MENA.Vivium Holding is focused on building purposeful value creation for investors, stakeholders, and businesses in the MENA region through its diversified investment portfolio in the areas of luxury residential and hospitality, technology, and passion investments such as art and design.MEVP currently manages four regional technology-focused venture capital funds with more than USD 300 million in assets under management and USD 1.6 billion in co-investments. MEVP has successfully backed more than 60 start-ups across MENA including industry leaders such as Anghami, the Nasdaq-listed MENA leader in music streaming and digital entertainment, digital payment infrastructure provider HyperPay, and Fresha, one of the top global digital marketplaces for beauty and wellness services.The partnership is established as MEVP launches its fourth flagship MENA VC fund – the Middle East Venture Fund IV (MEVF IV) – with a target size of USD 150 million. MEVF IV’s will focus on investing in innovative early-stage and growth-stage technology companies and supporting their growth into MENA market leaders.“We are pleased to join MEVP in this strategic partnership that underscores our commitment to support the growth of innovative start-ups in MENA.” said Elie Khouri, Founder and CEO of Vivium Holding. “Together, we will accelerate the development of the region’s thriving VC ecosystem, empowering start-ups to grow into mainstream regional and global champions and to create long-term sustainable businesses.”Walid Hanna, Chairman and co-CEO of MEVP, added: “My MEVP Partners and I are thrilled to have Vivium Holding join us as Cornerstone Partner. Vivium Holding’s strong focus on technology investments and their global perspective on innovation will complement MEVP’s existing capabilities, allowing us to together create even more value to both our portfolios and to the wider entrepreneurship community in the MENA region.”Vivium Holding's appointment as Cornerstone Partner with MEVP is timely; the MENA region continues to witness a surge in entrepreneurial activity, with startups disrupting traditional industries and driving digital transformation. The collaboration between Vivium Holding and MEVP is poised to drive economic growth, job creation, and technological advancements across the MENA region.Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Dubai Chamber engages with Asian startups and tech talent during visit

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has successfully concluded a roadshow to Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan to scout for startups to participate in the Expand North Star event in Dubai.During the roadshow, the Chamber introduced 481 startups to doing business in Dubai and highlighted the role it plays in providing support to businesses within the ecosystem. In addition, the Chamber hosted a pitch competition designed to drive participation in Expand North Star. The winner will receive a fully sponsored visit and participation in the upcoming event.As part of the Asian tour, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy also held a total of 17 private meetings with MNCs, unicorns, and incubators to explore potential collaborations within each market.Expand North Star is the largest start-up event in the world, uniting more than 1,400 exhibitors and 1,000 investors at Dubai Harbour from 15 – 18 October 2023. The event aims to ramp up the start-up entrepreneurship momentum, transcending geographic industries and intellectual boundaries as it connects government partners, investors, and corporate accelerators with innovators and tech stars from every continent.Dubai is embracing Web3 and the metaverse as part of efforts to drive the UAE’s digital economy forward, as well as fully integrating blockchain and AI technology across the public sector and investing in fintech and digital assets. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is working to accelerate the growth of Dubai’s digital economy and attract promising digital businesses to the emirate.Expand North Star will bring together startups from across the globe to connect with industry leaders, government officials, venture capitalists, and other potential investors. The event also supports the tech community by hosting forums and initiatives that bring together international and local tech companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and other key stakeholders.Expand North Star plays a critical role in attracting and connecting the global tech community to Dubai by providing a supportive platform for innovation and collaboration. The event will feature a series of summits, innovation challenges, conferences, and exhibitions showcasing the latest technological advances. The initiative provides opportunities for networking and collaboration while further cementing Dubai’s position as a leading hub for innovation and technology, as well as driving economic growth and development both in the emirate and globally.