Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category
Oasis500, the MENA region focused early stage and seed investment program, has announced two new investment deals for Jordanian startup companies Dakwak and Masmoo3 from its first Angel Investment event, and that the program has also signed a partnership agreement with Akhtaboot.
Dakwak, the startup behind a tool that enables websites to translate their content into over 60 languages, and which was previously reviewed here, received an investment from IV Holdings, resulting in a 300% increase in the Company’s post money valuation.
Dakwak was launched in July 2010 by Waheed Barghouthi, and was incubated by Oasis500 in March 2011. Waheed Barghouthi is currently CTO at the company, with fellow techie Zaid Amireh in the CEO role.
In this online world we’re living in, we’ve all received one too many annoying spam emails in our inboxes, and we’ve all been in front of a subscription form, at one point or another, scratching our heads, thinking if whatever service we’re signing up to is worth the ton of spam “marketing” emails we’re going to be receiving after it.
Other than spam filters that have varying degrees of effectiveness, another nuisance email fighting tool is the use of a disposable email address, that you just use for that one purpose and that you can dispose of later to avoid getting any unwanted emails.
Mohmal is a pretty similar Arabic service, that enables users to quickly create a disposable email address, that temporarily lives and receives emails for 45 minutes and is then deleted.
Online services that push us to check-in and share the places we’re at, what we’re doing, what we’re eating, what we’re watching and pretty much every other daily activity we could possibly be engaged in are all around us these days, urging us to over-share our every single move with the world, in many cases for nothing but the sake of over-sharing.
CareZone is a new check-in service that aims to make a difference and add purpose, by creating a link between users’ check-ins and spending at different places on one hand, and channeling benefits to those in need on the other.
The platform offers a location-based mobile app that suggests and rewards users for choosing and checking in at a CareZone partner (shops, restaurants, …etc.) Users earn CareZone Coins for their check-ins; spending money at the CareZone partner’s business will earn them even more Coins.
Qaym, the Arab website for user generated restaurant and coffee shop reviews, that was previously reviewed here, and recently received an investment from N2V, is announcing the launch of their iPhone application.
The online service enables users to rate and review restaurants and coffee shops, in addition to uploading pictures of them and their food items, discussing their positives and negatives and posting relevant information about them.
The newly released iPhone application provides users with the following features:
- A list of the best ten restaurants in the city they’re in, based on the ratings of its users.
- The possibility to drill down and find the best restaurants in the city by category or type of cuisine.
- Access to the restaurants’ Qaym profiles that show the ratings, reviews and photos that other users who visited it shared and uploaded.
This first version of the application supports the following cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Manama, Dammam, Khobar, Medina, Buraidah, Unaizah and Mecca. But more cities are planned for future releases of the application.
An Android version of the application is underway, and should see the light of day soon too.
The application is available in Arabic only, and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store here.
Sikkaa is a new social network type site launched from Kuwait and that targets amateur football (soccer) players and teams, helping them to promote themselves and organize matches and tournaments between them.
The word “Sikkaa” is an Arabic word that means “road”; which has been used in Kuwait for some time to describe the alleys and streets where children gather to play football, one of the most popular sports in Kuwait and around the region.
Sikkaa enables users to create their profiles as football players, upload photos and videos showing their skills at the game, create or join teams with their friends, challenge other teams, as well as participate in tournaments and events organized around them.
mediaME.com, the specialized online community for advertising and media professionals in the Middle East with over 11,000 members, has launched a free Classifieds service to address the need for sector-specific classifieds listings that provide exposure to a more targeted audience and market.
Accordingly, the mediaME Classifieds service focuses on advertising and media related categories. For example, listings categories cover all aspects of the jobs and freelance markets, featuring Job Postings, Job Seekers, Freelancers and Professional Service Providers with sub-categories for every advertising and media specialization.
The listings also aim to serve the needs of sellers with categories for Media Opportunities, Sponsorship Opportunities, Events & Activities and Business Equipment & Software. (more…)
E-commerce could very well be one of the hardest areas for an online startup from the Arab world to establish itself in, with many attempting to make breakthroughs in this space over the years and only a few barely making it, even though we have yet to witness THE big success.
Matajer is taking a stab at this space from a different angle, not by launching their own store or trying to become the one central shopping destination for regional users, not even by jumping on the daily deal bandwagon, but rather by providing a comprehensive solution to enable companies to easily create their own online stores to start selling their products online right away.
By doing this, Matajer is mainly focusing on providing the technical platform required to run an online store, but leaving the actual running and promotion of the store to the companies who choose to start them up.
Edufina is a newly launched startup that aims to fill in an empty space providing comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information about universities around the Arab world.
The portal targets both students and parents, and enables them to access very detailed university data and statistics, as well as use a set of comparison tools in order to compare between all options that match their needs and interests.
What’s great about Edufina is that it collects all this information that is freely available from universities but still cumbersome to get a hold of into one place, in a clear and structured way, through a simple and really nice interface, that enables users to run and filter searches on, run comparisons between different universities on, and come to their final decision on which university better suits them.
Berytech Fund, the Beirut-based seed capital fund, just announced a new investment in Dermandar, a Lebanon based technology startup focused on online digital image processing; acquiring a 35% stake of the company through the deal.
Dermandar (Arabic for all around), is a company that has developed online software that automatically creates panoramic pictures in a fast and simple way.
It enables users to take photos with any normal camera, create a panorama out of them using their online tool really quickly and then share it with the world. Basically what the tool does is it takes the photos the user took, looks at the edges of the photos for matching parts and then uses those to stitch the photos together into a bigger panoramic image.
Msrofi is a an Arabic personal finance tool that was created to help users keep an eye on their budgets and cash-flow; to be able to track their income and where they’re spending their money.
In a region where users are still weary of buying online, let alone sharing private information such as their finances, it is quite a challenge for a service like this from the get go; but still Hala Deeb and Mohammed Zaher Ghaibeh from Syrian web company Creative Web Group seem to have taken on that challenge head on by building and launching Msrofi.
The product is simply designed, and should be pretty straightforward for users to create their different categories and record their sources of income as well as their spending under those categories in multiple currencies. Everything has to be added manually at this stage, and that is obviously because of limitations with the banks and banking systems, as well as due to the lack of resources.