What are startups anyway?

Company startups are, in the simplest terms, temporary organizations or young enterprises that are looking for the best business model for itself to ensure profits in the future, to be on the startup top.

Features of a startup business:

  • Relatively short operating period (up to five years maximum)
  • Use of the latest modern technologies
  • Operating in a high-risk business environment
  • In connection with the above, seeking or having a suitable business model that will ensure rapid growth.

Fundraising and startups to invest

Here, too, it is quite distinctive, since it is done using the money of the founders, the so-called "angel investors of business," i.e. private investors with vast experience, who invest in startups at an early stage of development but with one condition: they have the opportunity to take a part of their shares or stocks.

With a slight difference there is still the possibility of "venture capital", there only instead of your own funds you invest with a pool entrusted by other entities and individuals. In addition to this, crowdfunding, or in simpler terms, social support for the activity. An interesting fact: startups valued at $1 billion or more are called unicorns. In business slang, this is a normally used adjective. No pun intended.

Now that you know what startups are characterized by, we can move on to the clue of today's article, which is an analysis of the top 25 startups for 2022. Let's get started with the best startups list!

1. KITOPI

This Lebanese-British-American startup company is currently leading the list. Fastest growing small businesses, 2022 to be clear. Their total funding is $804 million. The company was founded in 2018 by Mohamad Ballout, Saman Darkan, Bader Ataya, their headquarters are in the UAE. They are basically a technology-based food company. They operate in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain with kitchens, employees serving about 200 leading brands like Papa Johns, Shake Shack and many others. It is the most modern unicorn in the Middle East thanks to investors such as Softbank, Chimera, ADQ.

2. Pure Harvest Smart Farms

This is a technology-based agribusiness. The founders are Sky Kurtz, Mahmoud Adi, Robert Kupstas, who gathered forces in 2017 and established this business in the UAE, now having its headquarters there. Investors such as IMM Investment, and ADQ believed in this American-Lithuanian-Iraqi business. The whole success of this unicorn lies in designing, building and operating controlled environment agriculture technology. For those who are closer to agriculture, this $272 million will prove to be incredibly interesting.

3. STARZPLAY

Probably one of the most profitable businesses these days: a subscription video-on-demand service. It is mainly distributed to 21 countries in the MENA+Pakistan region. Here the capital was aided by Lionsgate, recognizable to the average person, which is a definite giant. Brief facts: founded in 2014 in the UAE by Maaz Sheikh, Danny Bates, Khaled Benchouch, Karin Baggstrom. Unicorn is named for the American-British-French-Swedish company.

4. TABBY

We hope the "buy now, pay later" option is familiar to you. Hosam Arab and Daniil Barkalov in 2019 decided to put the idea into practice, now becoming one of the leading unicorns in Saudi Arabia. This Canadian-Russian duo boasts funding of up to $130 million.

5. TAMARA

A difference of $14 million in funding gave this Saudi company fifth place, as they deal with the same as "Tabby." Maybe it is the best business to start in 2022? The investor, however, is none other than Checkout.com, backing the company since its inception in 2020 in Saudi Arabia. It boasts the first-ever agreement with the Saudi Central Bank. The founders are Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah, Abdulmohsen Albabtain.

25 Fasteat Growing Startups in 2023_Header

6. SARY

Business Angels played a huge role in the history of this Saudi startup, allowing it to become a huge success in 2018. Sary connects businesses, restaurants, cafes and hotels with networks of consumer goods wholesalers through mobile and web apps. As of today, Mohammed Aldossary and Khaled Alsiari boast funding of up to $112 million.

7. POSTPAY

Another of the "buy now, pay later" chains. The difference of this Mauritian-Spanish brand from others is that it is able to spread payment into three-month installments without interest. Afterpay and Touch Ventures have put up capital of up to $63.6 million to develop the company for Tariq Sheikh, Dani Molina Carmona starting in 2019.

8. MaxAB

This B2B e-commerce and distribution platform has served some 80,000 retailers with $62.5 million in capital as of 2018. Belal El Megharbel and Mohamed Benhalim forming the Libyan-Egyptian based business are the only one of the most promising unicorns planning to expand beyond Egypt and Morocco in the near future. With successes reaching the realization of some 1.5 million orders in less than three years, it couldn't be more different. The opportunity came from BECO capital and Flourish Ventures, among others.

9. iMile Delivery Services

Rita Huang Zhen, Naveen Joshep, Gao Wenli, Nancy Chen in 2017 founded the company, providing logistics and courier services across China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Oman and Morocco. Most interestingly, $50 million in funding, this unicorn received from an investor who does not make his details public. All we know is that he specializes in high-risk investments.

 10. iWire Group

Founded in 2017, this company is an absolute specialist in communication infrastructures. It specializes in logistics services, smart facility and city solutions. Ahmed Fasih Akhtar, Vyomesh Thakker and Firoz Karumannil boast of their Indian company's funding to date reaching $47 million. Not an outlier, the company is based in the UAE and operates in India, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East. Their customers include Michelin, among others.

11 .QUIK

This Lebanese-Dutch-British-Italian company specializes in on-demand deliveries. Same day, or scheduled at the customer's request. In founding the company in 2014, ZAE had JOBI Capital and Delivery Hero, among others, invested in their potential. Total funding at this point is $47 million.

12. OPONTIA

Focusing on the needs of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, this British-Austrian company deals with e-commerce benefits. Philip Johnston and Manfred Meyer founded the company in 2021 now based in the UAE (what a surprise) raising up to $46 million in funding from investors.

13. TruKKer

With 550 customers in the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Pakistan and Turkey, this Indian unicorn has become a giant operating a fleet of more than 40,000 trucks for digital freight networks. This success has been made possible by investors such as STV, RTF and IFC, providing financial opportunities of $45 million. The company has been operating since 2016, based in Saudi Arabia.

14. RETALIO

Pakistani e-commerce and B2B company. Ansari, Ahmed and Nowkhaiz started digitizing retail supply chains in 2020 with $44 million in capital. They have 200,000 feet of warehouse space, a fleet of 200 vehicles, and serve through 50,000 retailers. Arzan Capital and Shorooq Partners, among others, have invested in them.

15. Lucky App

Egyptian company (2018), providing its users to pay for items in installments, allow discounts or instant cash back at flagship stores. Based in Egypt, Essawy, Moussa and Kenawy boast funding from investors of $44 million.

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16. Jassir

But the Algerian company, founded in 2017, allows calls and deliveries among its 3 million users in 25 cities in Algeria, Canada, France, Morocco and Tunisia. It has numerous investors (most of them individual) with an initial capital of $43.25 million.

17. Trell

Hagrass, Atrash, Saad and El Garem, comprising the founders of this Egyptian company since 2018, provide its users with a B2B technology platform to connect shippers with carriers. It has more than 500 shipping partners, such as Coca-Cola. It is funded at $43 million by numerous investors. Interestingly, the founders are former employees of UBER, Vezeet and OLX.

18. Leena Al

Virtual HR Assistant. This artificial intelligence-based system is a basic helper for companies such as Nestle, Puma, Coca-Cola, P&G. The company is created by Indian entrepreneurs, but is based in the US and UAE as of 2018. Total funding from Greycroft, among others, around $40 million.

19. PayTabs

Saudi companies have been involved in all kinds of money laundering solutions since 2014. The founder is Abdulaziz Al Jouf, who has strengthened its position on the list with the revenue generated, by enabling companies with electronic invoicing, QR payment or secure links. Interestingly, the investors are mostly private, and the total funding is kept secret.

20. Floward

Funding of $34.2 million to sell fresh-cut flowers, gifts, cakes and perfumes with same-day delivery across Egypt, Jordan and the UK. Unicorn was established in 2017 in the GCC. Alarifi and Al Loughani have secured investors STV and Impact46.

21. Ekar

The company provides carshare systems, subscription leasing. It was founded in 2016 by Norwegian Vilhelm Hedberg. For the time being, it operates in the Persian Gulf, but with a total funding of $34 million, it plans to expand into Africa and the Far East.

22. Capiter

Another Egyptian e-commerce company, operating from 2020 with funding of $33.4 million. At this point, founders Mahmoud and Ahmed Nouh have secured 60,000 million sellers with 1,500 employees.

23. Breadfast

An on-demand grocery delivery platform with total funding of $30 million. This Egyptian company started as a bakery delivering pastries and bread to customers' doors, but now delivers everything. For the time being, it operates in 11 Egyptian cities, employing 2,000 people.

24. Bitoaza

A Jordanian-Czech company offering to buy, sell and trade more than 30 cryptocurrencies. It has been operating since 2015 with capital reaching $30 million. Interestingly, it is the only unicorn in this list with a woman, Ola Doudin, behind its success and founding.

25. Eyewa

Moroccan-Sudanese company selling glasses and lenses directly to consumers since 2017. For the time being, with a capital of $30 million, they operate in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar. About 500 other startups have invested in it.

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