UAE Leads MENA in the Race for the Publicis90 Startup Fund

Alexis Baghdadi, Apr 27 2016

The application period to the Publicis90 Startup Fund ended in March, with 5,996 applications received from 141 countries. Now the group has published its shortlist of applicants. 15 startups (out of a total of 323) from the EMEA region were shortlisted, including an overwhelming 13 startups from the UAE!

The remaining 2 startups were from Turkey and Egypt.

What’s in It for the Finalists?

In January 2016, Publicis Groupe, the French advertising agency holding group, had announced it would dedicate €10 million ($10.9 million) in its Publicis90 Fund to support up to 90 startups from around the world.

Each project will receive equity funding of between €10,000 and €500,000, as well as one year of mentoring in management, technology, marketing and communication from a Publicis Groupe agency executive.

All 90 selected projects will be invited to attend Viva Technology Paris, a major digital event co-organized by Publicis Groupe and Groupe Les Echos for three days at the end of June in Paris.

Analyzing Applications

The total number of validated applications reached 3,555. The shortlisted applications were reviewed anonymously by all 77,000 employees of Publicis Groupe, and closely analyzed by regional juries of digital experts from the group in each of the Americas, APAC, and EMEA.

Globally, the highest number of submission came from France (824 projects.) The US, India, and the UK followed with 522, 299, and 266 projects respectively. Applications covered a wide range of sectors, dominated by Mobile (12% of all projects). Content & entertainment came in second with 9% of projects, followed by Adtech & Media and E-Commerce & Retail (8% each).

A global jury will then choose the final 90 projects or startups that will be supported by Publicis Groupe.

For now, meet the MENA’s shortlisted candidates:

Adzurb (UAE): An online B2B platform for connecting offline ad space owners and offline media buyers.

The Card (Turkey): An app to manage business cards virtually, and send and receive updates directly to and from all contacts.

Carpool Arabia (UAE): An app-based affordable and convenient transportation solution to facilitate commuting and reduce emissions, with an optional remuneration system for drivers.

Coralwood (UAE): A second-hand and swapping marketplace.

el Grocer (UAE): A delivery service that shops for groceries on behalf of customers, from the store of their choice and delivers items to their door free of charge.

LanaDan (UAE): A fashion app that allows users to match items and get suggestions for their wardrobe, then find stores from where to buy these items.

Medicus (UAE): A simplified diagnosis tool that converts patients’ blood test results into a clear and visual experience with health insights.

Pixelbug (UAE): A developer of augmented reality apps for edutainment and advertising purposes.

Seez (UAE): A peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling cars, with a listing of specs and prices, as well as augmented reality visualization.

Selfup (UAE): A peer-to-peer platform for individuals to list, find, and book activities related to a more active lifestyle.

Taka solutions (UAE): A technology and engineering solution for optimizing building energy usage in order to reduce expenditures and environmental impact. Customers incur no capital cost, but pay from savings generated by the system.

Uktob (UAE): A marketplace for brands and companies to buy original, high-quality, and SEO-friendly content on a freelance basis and at competitive rates.

Wrappup (UAE): A meeting productivity tool that uses smart voice recording to summarize discussions and make meetings searchable.

Youmah (UAE): An online store listing natural, organic, and non-toxic products for moms and babies in the Middle East.

Yumamia (Egypt): A marketplace linking foodies with cooks (housewives) providing authentic homemade meals and dishes.

Stay tuned for updates on the winning teams.

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