middle eastern startups

5 Middle Eastern startups with truly innovative ideas

Let’s face it. The news industry and tech blogs are obsessed with startups from North America and Europe. Only now are startups in Asia really starting to make mainstream headlines in the U.S. But what about the big ideas and innovative startups that are being built right now in the Middle East?

As someone who visits the Middle East on a regular basis and would like to live there long-term someday, I thought it might be useful to start cataloging the various startups I’ve been keeping an eye on over the past few months and year.

Middle Eastern Startups With Truly Innovative Ideas

Below is a simple but useful list of startups that are based in the Middle East that are worth checking out. Each does something quite useful (imho) but they’re not really related to one another. They’re also not chosen because of any particular single reason. For example, these aren’t all the ‘most funded’ organizations or the ones with the ‘most active users’ or whatever. They’re just cool. Check them out and feel free to add your own nominations down in the comments!


Ever wonder what you could do with old electric parts? This startup takes tossed-out parts from businesses in Egypt and resells them to local as well as international purchasers. The interesting part (to me, at least) is that Recyclobekia was started by 20 university students! Love seeing this kind of innovation.


Here’s an app that is going to be quite useful to other startups out there. It’s called Instabug which is a nifty functionality that lets you shake your phone if you’ve found a bug in a mobile app. The idea of ‘shaking’ a bug is just great to me. What better motion could you associate with running into an error on an app, right? Anyway, you can shake and then submit a report detailing the issue you’ve run into. The feature also automatically captures a screenshot that users can draw on and email to the developer. Best of all, the user never leaves the app to report the bug!


Wally lets you take control of your money. Balance your income and expenses. Understand where your money goes. Set and achieve your financial goals. Seamlessly and intuitively. It helps you compare your income to your expenses, understand where your money goes, and set and achieve goals. Wally lets you keep track of the details as you spend money: where, when, what, why, & how much.


Similar to Khan Academy, Nafham is an online video-based learning platform that has a goal of helping with student tutoring (a $2 billion industry annually). There are more than 6,000 free videos that range from a few minutes to longer 20+ minute videos. They’re designed to be used in parallel to the Egyptian curriculum, as well. Founded by Ahmed Alfi, Muhammad Habib and Mostafa Farahat.


This is a robust online store that would feel like Amazon to most web users out there. Jamalon is the largest online bookstore in Middle East, offering more than 9.5 million of Arabic and English titles with home delivery.

Share Your Favorites!

Want to see your Middle Eastern startup added in a new post on Daily Genius? Just share some information about it down in the comments and we’ll start researching it. Thanks!

Written by Jeff Dunn

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it’s not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.

One Comment

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  1. Hi ::

    I very happy to know that my friends in Nafham and Jamalon mentioned in this article.

    I am Ahmad Elkholy, the founder of Preneur-Masr, a web site / platform specialized in entrepreneurship, small & micro enterprises.

    I hope to know your opinion in our web site.

    Note :: Preneur-Masr is in Arabic version only.


    Ahmad Elkholy

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