Smart Startups in the Middle East | Investera | Investment Portfolio Management Platform

Smart Startups in the Middle East

05October, 2020

What is a Startup?

A startup is a company in its initial stages of development that focuses on serving a perceived market demand by delivering products, services, platforms, or applications that are able to reach their targeted audience.

This makes startups rely on technology considering the recent global outbreak. Online marketplaces are reachable and can easily connect to a larger market. A startup should also focus on getting out of the initial survival phase where funding is crucial to its success and move to become an effective filling gap in the market and depend on its revenue stream .

Of course a startup is not a traditional business, a startup usually starts from scratch to grow into a valuable asset in the market and go from zero revenue to profit-making.

Here, we look at 4 tech startups that create a great impact within their respective industries.

  • Pure Harvest Smart Farms

UAE – Agriculture Technology
Pure Harvest Smart Farms, an agtech startup business that focuses on local and sustainable cultivation of quality fruits and vegetables in the challenging climates of the Arab Gulf region using world-leading controlled-environment agriculture technologies.

  • Founded: 2016
  • Location: UAE
  • Funding: $29.4M

The startup secured a total of 5 funding rounds and raised a total of $20.6M in the last round on the 6th of April 2020. Here are the details of each funding round:


Funding Type Money Raised (USD)

Lead Investors

6th April 2020

Series A


Wafra International Investment

17th September 2019 Seed Round $1,800,000

Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) & Shorooq Partners

3rd October 2018 Seed Round $1,500,000

Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF)

16th December 2017

Seed Round $4,500,000

Shorooq Partners

1st October 2016 Seed Round $1,100,000

Shorooq Partners

  • Sary

Saudi Arabia – E-commerce Technology
Sary is a B2B marketplace that connects small businesses and mini-supermarkets with suppliers of high-demand consumer goods taking Saudi’s wholesale grocery experience to a new digitized and smarter level.

  • Founded: 2017
  • Location: Saudi Arabia
  • Funding: $7.4M

During the Covid-19 outbreak, Sary secured a fund of $6.6M by Raed Ventures to finance the coronavirus-driven demand for supplies and goods that has increased during the pandemic. Below are the details Sary’s funding rounds:


Funding Type Money Raised (USD)

Lead Investors

2nd April 2020 Series A $6,600,000

Raed Ventures

29th April 2019

Seed Round $380,000

29th April 2019 Seed Round $380,000

1st April 2019 Seed Round

  • Ajar

Kuwait – Proptech
Ajar, a cloud-based property management and rent collection platform. It allows landlords, property managers, and real estate companies to list their properties on the platform and automate the rent collection process securely. Ajar’s platform also facilitates rewarding online payments to tenants, allowing tenants to cash in on discounts and rewards every time they pay their rent online.

  • Founded: 2016
  • Location: Kuwait
  • Funding: $7.5M

Ajar has become a leading property management platform in the Middle East. The Startup recently announced their Pre-Series A Round of $7.5M by leading investors 500 Startups, SBX Capital, and Seed Partners. Below are Ajar’s funding details:


Funding Type

Money Raised (USD)

Lead Investors

8th June 2020 Pre-Series A Round


500 Startups, SBX Capital, & Seed Partners

27th November 2018

Seed Round Undisclosed 500 Startups
1st October 2017 Seed Round Undisclosed

BECO Capital

1st October 2016

Seed Round Undisclosed

BECO Capital

  • Swvl

Egypt – Logistics and Transportation Technology
Swvl, founded in 2017, is a premium mass transit system that provides buses to every neighbourhood in Cairo. It allows people to share a ride in a van or a bus during morning and evening commutes for a fixed flat fare with no surge pricing. Through an app, one can book a ride at an affordable rate.

  • Founded: 2017
  • Location: Egypt
  • Funding: $76.5M

Swvl had its first seed funding round by Careem in 2017 for a total of $500,000. Then, another round was held and raised a total of $68M on the 20th of June 2020 by BECO Capital, DASH Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, MSA Capital, Sawari VenturesVNV Global, and otf Jasoor Ventures. Making Swvl total capital reach a total of $76.5M in funding.


Funding Type Money Raised (USD) Lead Investors
20th June 2020 Series B $68,000,000

BECO Capital, VNV Global

22nd November 2018

Venture Round

BECO Capital

23rd April 2018

Series A $8,000,000

BECO Capital, DiGame, Silicon Badia

17th July 2017

Seed Round $500,000


Shahenda Ibrahim
Researcher at Investera

Funding rounds source: