Seven Mena startups selected for the 2021 Y Combinator summer cohort

Seven Mena startups selected for the 2021 Y Combinator summer cohort

Dounia Hassanein


Y Combinator’s latest summer cohort contains the largest Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) startup group in its history, with seven regional startups participating in the famous Acceleration Program, which has graduated Stripe, Dropbox and Airbnb.

While Mena-based startups make up less than 10% of this summer’s cohort, the number of startups in the region has steadily increased, reflecting growing global interest in the region’s tech ecosystem.

The seven startups selected are the fintechs Baraka, Nomod and Amenli, the e-commerce and logistics platforms Shipblu, Chari and Freterium and Odiggo. The startups are expected to receive $ 125,000 in exchange for 7% equity and will launch remotely to an audience of more than 1,000 investors during the demo day scheduled for August. YC’s latest winter bundle included Egyptian fintech NowPay and Dayra and UAE-based fintech Ziina.

The fintech, e-commerce and logistics sectors are the three fastest growing sectors in Mena in terms of investment, due to the increase in online shopping and increased digitization. In the first six months of 2021, fintech startups raised $ 306 million, e-commerce startups raised $ 181 million while logistics startups raised $ 103 million.

Here is the list of Mena startups participating in Y Combinator’s summer 2021 promotion:

Nomod: Founded by Omar Kassim in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, Nomod allows businesses to accept card payments.

Odiggo: Founded by Ahmed Naser and Ahmed Omar in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, Odiggo directly sells auto parts and accessories from different suppliers.

Amenli: Founded by Shady El Tohfa in 2020 in Egypt, Amenli is a digital insurance brokerage company that allows its clients to purchase insurance in less than 10 minutes.

Chari: Founded by 2020 by Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj in Morocco, Chari is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects FMCG store owners and retailers with suppliers.

Freterium: Founded by Omar El Kouhene and Mehdi Cherif Alami in Morocco, Freterium is a SaaS platform which aims to disrupt the logistics supply chain.

ShipBlue: Founded by Ahmed El Kawas, Ahmed ElKawass and Abdelrahman Hosny in 2020 in Egypt, ShipBlu offers complete last mile delivery and fulfillment solutions for e-commerce businesses.

Baraka: Founded by Feras Jalbout and Kunal Taneja in 2020 in the United Arab Emirates, Baraka offers a commission-free investment app for users in the Middle East.

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