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Top 25 Startups to Watch in Dubai

Dubai is the financial and business hub of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai’s economy is projected to grow by 4% in 2021. The startups are driving Dubai’s transformation, fostering innovation and playing a crucial role in building the Emirates post-Covid-19 economy. Dubai has been experiencing a remarkable rise in tech based startup communities.  The startups in Dubai are robust and innovative, contributing countries thriving and growing startup ecosystem.

Several business friendly measures are being introduced in recent years to support startups, business activities, boost foreign investment and to attract investors from around the world with several stimulus packages, the golden card permanent residency system for expat investors, a 5-year visa for entrepreneurs, a virtual working programme and a decision to grant UAE citizenship to select foreigners. We have also compiled a list of active angel investors who are spreading Dubai’s tech renaissance. 

List of Top 25 Startups to Watch in Dubai

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1. Kitopi 

Kitopi is a cloud kitchen startup that provides delivery only services for restaurants. It is a  managed cloud kitchen platform with over 1000 employees across UAE, KSA and Kuwait. Kitopi enables restaurants to open delivery only locations by providing the necessary infrastructure and software with minimal capital expenditures and time as well as taking care of the entire customer experience journey. 

Industry: Cloud Infrastructure, Delivery.

Founders: Andres Arenas, Bader Ataya, Salman Darkan, Mohamad Ballout.

Total Funding: $504M

Founded Date: 2018 



2. Udrive 

UDrive is the first car sharing provider in the Middle East that provides car rental by the minute. Users can locate and book their cars through the platform. Users can drive to the destination location and they can leave the vehicle anywhere in the legal spot. Their mobile app is available for both Android and iOS. 

Industry: Car Sharing, Transportation.

Founders: Hasib Khan

Total Funding: $12.3M

Founded Date: 2016 



3. Seez 

Seez is a tech startup that developed the Seez app, leveraging proprietary AI, machine learning, and data to facilitate and automate the car shopping journey. The Seez mobile app for car shoppers offers a smart search engine for online car listings, as well as tools and services that make car shopping easier, faster, and more efficient. 

Industry: Artificial Intelligence, E-Commerce.

Founders: Andrew Kabrit, Tarek Kabrit.

Total Funding: $8.8M

Founded Date: 2016 



4. Carasti 

Carasti is an on-demand monthly car subscription app that offers affordable and flexible all-inclusive automotive services. The subscription model allows customers to swap, upgrade, or downgrade their vehicles easily and without long-term commitment. The marketplace business model provides a simple and efficient platform through which fleet partners can manage and monetize their fleet. 

Industry: Subscription Service, E-Commerce.

Founders: Claudio Esposito Aiardo, Michael Menary.

Total Funding: $3M

Founded Date: 2019 



5. Invygo 

Invigo is an app-based car subscription company that offers a new way to get a car. Invygo is MENA’s first & largest car subscription service creating accessible mobility options through an all-inclusive monthly subscription, all in a seamless app-based experience. All the user needs to do is choose the car and subscription package he wants & pay monthly.

Industry: Information Technology, Car Sharing.

Founders: Eslam Hussein, Pulkit Ganjoo.

Total Funding: $4.2M

Founded Date: 2018



6. Aqeed 

Aqeed is an insurance technology company that aims to make insurance simple, transparent, and accessible. They  are on a mission to help users  become better at everything related to insurance. Its  vision is to digitize the insurance journey for its customers in a simple and efficient manner.

Industry: Insurance, Financial Services.

Founders: Hadi Radwan

Total Funding: $18M

Founded Date: 2017



7. Postpay 

Postpay was founded in 2019 and is the leading buy now, pay later provider in the region. They  offer shoppers transparent, flexible, and seamless options to pay in installments online (on its  partner stores) with absolutely no added risk to its partners. Postpay aims to transform the way people pay without burdening them with interest fees and hidden charges. 

Industry: Financial Service, Payments.

Founders: Dani Molina, Tariq Sheikh

Total Funding: $10M

Founded Date: 2019



8. Beehive 

Beehive is MENA’s first regulated online marketplace for peer-to-peer lending. Beehive directly connects smart investors and creditworthy businesses to build mutually beneficial partnerships for growth. The platform applies the innovative technology of crowdfunding to eliminate the cost and complexity of conventional finance, meaning investors get better returns and businesses get faster access to lower cost finance.

Industry: Lending, FinTech

Founders: Craig Moore.

Total Funding: $15.5M

Founded Date: 2014



9. FlexxPay

FlexxPay offers an online platform to employers whose employees can access their earned salaries & commissions instantly, before the regular payday.​ They provide an instant pay platform allowing employees to access a portion of already earned salaries whenever needed, thus ending financial stress.

Industry: Information Technology.

Founders: Michael Trushcler

Total Funding: $4.5M

Founded Date: 2018



10. Quiqup

Quiqup is a provider of on-demand, same-day, and scheduled delivery solutions to retailers and restaurants. Quiqup is reinventing the way consumer urban deliveries are done for better business, better cities, and better living. The company empowers any business to deliver a best-in-class delivery experience by creating the next generation of delivery solutions to suit shoppers’ ever-increasing demands.

Industry: Courier Service, Supply Chain Management.

Founders: Danny Hawkins, Rami Idriss, Tim Linnsen.

Total Funding: $5.5M

Founded Date: 2014



11. is a new & unique online experience, where customers can browse through and purchase an extensive range of indoor and outdoor plants, gardening accessories & equipment, seeds, and fertilizers. The first of its kind in the region, is not just a store, but a learning platform for budding gardeners. 

Industry: E-Commerce, B2B.

Founders: Jimmy James

Total Funding: $250K

Founded Date: 2015



12. Okadoc 

Okadoc is a tech company that aims to improve  healthcare experience. Wherever they are, patients can use Okadoc’s app to find in-network doctors, instantly book appointments online, receive reminders for upcoming appointments, and more. Okadoc’s telemedicine platform enables virtual consultations and connects patients to over 1400 doctors and 160 healthcare providers across the country, including 70 specialties.

Industry: Healthcare, Software.

Founders: Fodhil Benturquia

Total Funding: $12.3M

Founded Date: 2018



13. Babystore 

Babystore was founded in 2018 by Shahin Avthal. It  is an ecommerce platform, based in Dubai, focusing on the mother, baby child and home industry. This United Arab Emirates startup is definitely going to be making waves in 2021.

Industry: E-Commerce.

Founders: Shahin Avthal

Total Funding: $350K

Founded Date: 2018



14. Drawdeck 

Drawdeck is a lifestyle consumer brand for curated and affordable wall art. Drawdeck was founded by two creative enthusiasts for one reason, to make affordable art accessible to the Middle East! Everyday artists around the world go unnoticed and the Drawdeck platform aims at enabling emerging talent to share their work to a wider audience. 

Industry: E-Commerce, Home Decor.

Founders: Alex Dunn, David Hammond.

Total Funding: $100K

Founded Date: 2014



15. Keepface 

Keepface is a Global Influencer Marketing Platform offering a variety of influencer management tools that allow brands and agencies to work with the most relevant influencers to create engaging, native and selling content. Keepface is rapidly growing in the USA, MENA, and Asia with more than 30,000 registered influencers from 96 countries and 2,500 clients including Leo Burnett, Starcom, Havas, P&G, Danone, Mars, and McDonald’s. 

Industry: Content Marketing, SaaS.

Founders: Elsad Yusufli, Emin Vali, Vagif Abbasov.

Total Funding: $450K

Founded Date: 2017



16. Yallaparking 

YallaParking is the UAE’s first and largest online marketplace for private parking space. Yalla Parking connects businesses and individuals who are in need of extra private parking with parking suppliers who have unused spaces in the same building or area. 

Industry: Parking, Automotive.

Founders: Craig McDonald

Total Funding: $152K

Founded Date: 2016



17. Sehteq 

Sehteq offers low cost, consumer centric, and regulatory compliant health insurance plans to individuals, SMEs and large groups in 6 out of the 7 Emirates in UAE and soon to launch in Abu Dhabi. Sehteq Platform was launched in Nov 2017 in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, Government of Ras Al Khaimah “DED”​ and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zones “​ RAKEZ.

Industry: Health Insurance.

Founders: Saif Al Jaibeji

Total Funding: $20M

Founded Date: 2017



18. Tabby 

Tabby is a “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments company, allowing consumers to shop and pay in four installments at no cost. Tabby makes shopping more rewarding by empowering people with the flexibility and freedom to get what they want. tabby lets you shop now, pay later and earn cash – without the interest, fees or debt traps.

Industry: Financial Services.

Founders: Daniil Barkalov, Hosam Arab.

Total Funding: $132M

Founded Date: 2019



19. Mamo Pay 

 Mamo Pay was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It provides payment applications intended to make money transfers accessible. It allows connecting bank accounts to its application and enables users to send money quickly and securely to friends and family. 

Industry: Fin-Tech, Payments.

Founders: Asim Janjua, Imad Gharazeddine.

Total Funding: $9.5M

Founded Date: 2016



20. Load-Me 

Load-Me is a web based business, a freight exchange service for the road transportation industry in the Middle East. The platform is actually the first and only online marketplace for transporters in the Middle East and by leveraging technology and information to match trucks and loads is helping transporters to increase their loaded miles and brokers, forwarders or other load owners to ship their freight effectively.

Industry: Logistics.

Founders: Claudia P, Sebastian Morar, Sebastian Stefan.

Total Funding: $1.5M

Founded Date: 2014



21. Almentor 

Almentor is a cutting-edge online video marketplace for e-learning and professional business development throughout the Middle East and Africa. Offering video courses in Arabic and English, Almentor curates top-rated training programs of expert-created content and guided curriculum with interactive delivery.

Industry: Education, E-Learning.

Founders: Hesham Heikal, Husni Khuffash.

Total Funding: $14.5M

Founded Date: 2016



22. Derq

Derq was founded in 2016 by Amer Abufadel and Karl Jeanbart. It  is one of the top startups in Dubai that aims to provide a safer and smarter road powered by patented AI and predictive analytics. Derq uses AI to power a real time predictive analytics platform.

Industry: Automotive.

Founders: Amer Abufadel, Karl Jeanbart.

Total Funding: $1.5M

Founded Date: 2016



23. Grub Tech

GrubTech is an end-to-end SaaS platform enabling the digital transformation of restaurants and cloud kitchens. Its scalable and flexible operating system is the ‘Shopify’ of the foodservice industry. GrubTech offers an omni-channel POS capable of accepting orders from all the popular food aggregators, direct online channels, dine-in, and takeaway.

Industry: SaaS.

Founders: Mohamed Al Fayed, Mohamed Hamedi, Omar Rifai.

Total Funding: $5.4M

Founded Date: 2019



24. Monami Tech 

Monami Tech helps financial institutions to build efficiency and streamlines operations. They work alongside financial institutions and telecom companies  to bridge the gap between conventional and sophistication through modern digital solutions that enhance user experience. Institutions can offer their customers a simple, secure and personalized experience on any device they choose.

Industry: Fin-Tech, Financial Services.

Founders: Ammar Afif

Total Funding: $2.5M

Founded Date: 2016



25. Klaim

KLAIM is an innovative healthTech – finTech startup transforming healthcare billing and processing by combining a powerful AI driven claim management SaaS platform as well as Financing under one umbrella. With a strong mission to simplify healthcare payments for everyone, KLAIM  provides an easy-to-use platform to trace and compile claims history under our revolutionary platform.

Industry: Insurance, Health-tech, Fin-Tech.

Founders: Ghafoor Ahmed, Karim Dakki.

Total Funding: $1.1M

Founded Date: 2020

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