CAIRO: Following initial news of the $3.1 billion deal in March 2019, US ride-hailing firm Uber completed its acquisition of Dubai-based vehicle-for-hire company Careem at the beginning of January 2020.
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) startups have been getting much-needed funds to scale up their businesses, and 2019 seems to have set the bar high.
During the first half of last year, startups in the region received $471 million in investments, up 66 percent from the $283 million invested over the same period in 2018.
Given the steadily growing number of MENA startups, it remains extremely difficult to spot the next local unicorn.
Nevertheless, here is a list of new ventures with definite growth potential in 2020.
Being a small market, Oman is an unlikely place of origin for booming startups. However, certified pre-owned car e-retailer Carzaty has the potential to change that. Founded in 2017 by Hassan Jaffar and Marwan Chaar, the company offers heavily discounted vehicles by operating exclusively through a virtual showroom, selling reconditioned cars covered by a one-year warranty and delivering them to customers.
After securing $4 million in funding, Carzaty launched operations in the UAE in December 2019, entering a country whose used-car market was valued at more than 11 billion Emirati dirhams ($3 billion).