Alex Angels Newsletter - March 2019


Alex Angels Investment Masterclass and Info Session and Q1 Pitch

Alex Angels Investment Masterclass and Info Session was held on Saturday 23rd of March at Hilton Corniche Alexandria. The event featured Dr. Khaled Ismail talking about the fundamentals, key concepts and strategies of angel investing. Dr. Ismail also showcased what was happening in the region in terms of funding.

Following the masterclass was a panel discussion addressing syndication which included Aly El Shalakany Chairman of Cairo Angels, Tarek El Kady Chairman of Alex Angels, Ahmed Amin General Manager of the  AUC Angels, and Khaled Ismail Chairman of HIMangel. It concluded by the three angel networks along with HIMangel joining a syndication agreement and agreed to co-invest in upcoming deals with the purpose of doing more deals as business angel networks and building a pipeline of startups who have high potential for growth. Dr. Ismail highlighted that such an agreement will foster the collaboration between the various angel groups, capitalizing on the strengths of the different members, and hopefully attracting more professionals to consider angel investing as an asset class. 

The event concluded with Alex Angels Q1 startup pitches where the following startups pitched to the investors of the three angel networks; Osta, Seater, Bel Shifa, Noqood, Opio, MayDay, and Eksab.

Alex Angels New Members On Board

We are delighted to welcome two new members on board.




Financial Reports

The Biggest Economies in 2030 " Egypt's Economy Will Expand With Triple-Digit Growth in PPP Terms"

By 2030, the complexion of the global economy could look very different than it does today.According to recent projections from Standard Chartered, a multinational bank headquartered in London, the next decade will see emerging markets like India and Turkey ascending the global economic ladder to become tomorrow’s powerhouses. Read more

The Start-up Ecosystem in the Arab World

The Start-up Ecosystem in the Arab World is written in preparation for the 10th World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, which takes place on 6-7 April 2019 at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It serves as an overview of the state of entrepreneurship across the Arab world for all participants in the Forum, in order to gain an understanding of the ecosystem. Read more

75 Careem employees to become dollar millionaires after company’s sale to Uber, another 200 to earn at least $270,000 each: report

Hundreds of Careem employees are set to benefit from company’s sale to Uber, according to a report by The National. As many as 75 of them are expected to become dollar millionaires and another 200 will receive at least $270,000 (1 million AED) or more for their shares. Read more

$1B+ Market Map: The World’s 326 Unicorn Companies In One Infographic

There are 326 private companies around the world valued at $1B+, all featured on our real-time unicorn tracker. These companies are collectively worth nearly $1.1T and have raised a combined total of over $271B.Last year, 119 new companies joined the global unicorn club — a 67% increase from the 71 new unicorns in 2017. Using the CB Insights database, we mapped all 326 global unicorn companies valued at $1B+ according to the primary markets in which they operate. Read more

Lyft, Uber, Pinterest: Are internet unicorns really worth billions?

Lyft, the ride-hailing company, sold its shares to the public for the first time, heralding a march of the "unicorns".A stream of these businesses - which are defined as private, venture capital-backed firms worth over $1bn - are set to follow, including Lyft's rival Uber, online scrapbook company Pinterest and home-sharing site AirBnB.And they are attracting some staggering valuations. Uber, for example, could be worth as much as $120bn when it floats.For Lyft, its shares listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange at $72 each, giving it a market value of just over $24bn - more than five times the size of, say, British High Street stalwart Marks & Spencer. Read more


Egyptian Gbarena’ closes seed round from HIMangel to help gamers find global challenges

GBarena, an e-sports tournament platform and gaming community, just raised a seed investment from HIMangel. "At HIMangel, we look for startups that have identified a “blue ocean” to compete in; this certainly applies to GBarena which is a clear leader in the eSports industry in the entire Middle East," says Khaled Ismail, chairman of HIMangel. "We believe that working together with the passionate and capable team of GBarena, we will be able to grow in an exponential fashion within the coming near future," he adds. Read more

Exclusive: Egypt Ventures invests in video big data analytics startup AvidBeam in a Series A round

Egypt Ventures, the recently launched Cairo-based VC fund has kicked off series A round of investment in video big data analytics AvidBeam Technologies, the startup told MENAbytes today, without disclosing the size of investment. The investment is part of an on-going Series A round. Read more


It’s official: Uber has acquired Careem for $3.1 billion in a cash and stock deal

It is official. After almost a year of rumors, Uber today has announced the acquisition of its Middle Eastern rival for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisition, per statement, is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by Q1 2020. It is the largest ever exit for a Middle Eastern startup. Read more

Fodel raises $2.6 million in pre-Series A

Dubai-based last mile delivery startup Forward Delivery (Fodel), has raised $2.6 million in a pre-series A round from multiple investors including Saudi-based Al Rajhi family members..Read more

Dubai-based P2P SME lending platform Beehive raises $4 million to expand to Bahrain & Saudi

Dubai-based peer to peer lending platform Beehive has raised $4 million as part of its Series B round from Riyad Taqnia Fund (RTF), the startup announced today. The round takes total investment raised so far by Beehive to $15.5 million. RTF had first invested in Beehive in late 2017 by leading the $5 million Series A round. Beehive plans to close the Series B by the end of this year with at least $10 million, the startup told MENAbytes. Read more

Jamalon ​Continues to Disrupt Arabic Publishing After Successfully raising over $10 ​Million Funding Round

Jamalon, the largest online Arabic book retailer, announced today that it has successfully completed the first leg of its Series B funding round, raising over $10M in investments from existing and new shareholders. It is the largest amount ​ever received by an ​e​-commerce retailer in Arabic publishing. Read more

Tarjama, the Region’s Leading Language Service Provider, Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding Round

Tarjama, the Middle East’s leading Language Service Provider, successfully raised $5 Million in Series A funding round led by Saudi based Anova Investments.This strategic investment round will enable Tarjama pursue growth opportunities and scale its business operations and will also allow the company to further boost its technology platforms. Such platforms will focus on Arabic content and translation services, including the Ureed Platform, the region’s first and only dedicated online marketplace focusing on translation and content services.Read more

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala leads $125 million Series B investment in Berlin-based insurtech startup Wefox Group

Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala Ventures has led $125 million Series B round in Wefox Group, a Berlin-based digital marketplace for insurance, TechCrunch reported yesterday, adding that the investment came from Mubadala Ventures newly created European tech fund. Wefox also said that the investment is the first tranche of their Series B. Read more

New York-based high-end apartment rentals startup Blueground closes $20 million to fuel its expansion in Dubai

New York City-headquartered real estate technology startup Blueground has closed $20 million investment round, the startup announced today. This includes $8 million in fresh funds and $12 million that had come from Dubai-based Jabbar Internet Group, VentureFriends, and Endevaor Catalyst, in October last year. The round takes total investment raised so far by Blueground to $28 million. Read more

Saudi on-demand delivery startup Mrsool raises multi-million Series A from STV and Raed Ventures

Riyadh-based on-demand delivery startup Mrsool has raised a multi-mullion (US Dollar) Series A round led by MENA’s laregst VC fund Saudi Technology Ventures (STV) and Raed Ventures, STV announced today, adding that Saudi angel investor Mazen Al Jubeir also joined the round. It is the first external investment raised by the startup that claims to be the leading player in this space in Saudi. The startup plans to use the investment to expedite its expansion plans in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. Read more

UAE’s Tarjama raises $5 million Series A to automate translation services

Dubai-based language services provider Tarjama has raised $5 million Series A from Saudi private equity firm Anova Investments, the startup announced today.Founded in 2008 by Nour Alhassan, Tarjama is a certified translation agency with presence in eight countries including United Arab Emirates, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and United States, offering different types of language services to individuals and businesses. The company, according to the statement it released today, offers translation services in over 150 languages, including Asian, African, and European pairs, and has translated over 500 million words with the help of 130 full-time translation specialists who are employed by the company. Read more


Singapore’s Grab raises $1.46 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund at a reported valuation of $14 billion

Grab, the leading Southeast Asian ride-hailing company (or super app – as they like to call themselves) today announced that it has secured $1.46 billion in fresh funds from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The investment has taken Grab’s ongoing Series H round to over $4.5 billion. Other investors who have joined this round previously include Toyota, Hyundai, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, and Yamaha Motor. The company now has raised a total of $7.5 billion to date. Read more

Mattress Retailer Casper Raises $100M at $1.1B Valuation Amid IPO Rumors

Online memory-foam mattress retailer Casper has raised another $100 million in funding at a valuation of $1.1 billion, the company announced today. Read more

Doctolib Raises $170M For Online Appointments, Hits $1.13B Valuation

French doctor booking app Doctolib has raised a US$170.4 million (€150 million) Series E that propels it to unicorn status.The round, led by New York-based General Atlantic  alongside Accel  and others, takes Doctolib’s total funding  to $266.5 million, according to its Crunchbase profile. It marks one of the largest e-health financings to date in a field that’s increasingly attracting investors. The round also values the startup at $1.13 billion, according to TechCrunch, and comes less than 16 months after its $42 million Series D in 2017. Read more

Skedulo Raises $28M Series B Led By Microsoft’s M12 Venture Arm

This morning Skedulo announced a $28 million Series B led by Microsoft’s venture arm, M12. It’s the second Series B out today that Microsoft took part in. Previously today M12 put capital into WorkBoard’s $23 million Series B. Read more

Glossier Said To Have Raised $100M At $1.2B Valuation

Another day, another unicorn.Direct-to-consumer beauty company Glossier has raised a $100 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital that takes the startup’s valuation to over $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more

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