500 Startups and Sanabil host demo day for batch 1 of Sanabil 500 MENA seed accelerator

Press Release.

Riyadh, June 29, 2021 – 500 Startups, a leading global venture capital firm, and Sanabil Investments, a financial investment company focused on global private investments in venture capital, growth and small buyout, will hold demo day on July 7th for the inaugural batch of the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator. For the health and safety of participants and the community, the event will be streamed live for registered attendees.

Selected out of more than 500 applications, fourteen diverse startups from the MENA region, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine will present their companies to an audience of accredited investors and key stakeholders. They have all successfully completed the 12-week accelerator program, which includes an investment of USD$100,000 per startup. 

“I was heartened to see the number of applications we received for our inaugural batch. The quality and quantity of founders from Saudi Arabia and all over MENA who were eager to join the program was an indication of an ecosystem on an upward trajectory. We have designed the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program to propel their growth and help them achieve regional and global scale. Congratulations to Batch 1 as you continue on your journey to success,” said Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Startups and General Partner of the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund.

The tailor-made Program provides founders of pre-seed and seed-stage startups with the knowledge to help them successfully grow their business. Delivered by 500 Startups’ network of world-class mentors, the curriculum covers customer acquisition, marketing and sales, and fundraising, among other topics. 

Recognizing the potential impact that companies can have on the environment, their workers and communities, companies participating in the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program fill out questionnaires on the level of environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance, are provided with ESG resources, and are encouraged to work towards certain UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

The startups that completed the program are:

Enterprise eCommerce software in the Middle East that optimizes operations and improves conversion rates for medium and large retailers.

Connects users with the right lawyer in less than 24 hours.

Subscription-based drone service provider that helps B2B and B2G companies solve inspection, surveillance, and delivery challenges with an autonomous Drone-in-a-Box solution.

Medical decision support application for hospitals to deliver the right care faster, while reducing claim rejections.

Mobile app that connects Arabic speakers around the world experiencing wellbeing and mental health challenges with therapists privately and easily.

Mobile app that helps pregnant women become confident first-time moms.

Helps influencers launch and sell their own branded clothing.

E-commerce store helping women express themselves by featuring the latest trends in modest fashion.

Subscription program that supports the cognitive and motor development of babies with toys that turn playtime into a learning experience.

See Also

On-demand pay mobile app that helps low and medium income employees relieve financial stress by getting them instant access to their salaries between paychecks.

SaaS platform helping eCommerce sellers receive payments instantly for cash on delivery orders.

Online marketplace that allows fans and businesses to hire celebrities to create personalized videos.

  • Tenex: (United Arab Emirates)

SaaS platform designed to optimize the manual operations of property and facility managers. 

Helps entrepreneurs create on-demand ordering apps using a SaaS model.

“Congratulations to all the founders of the first cohort for being selected and for completing the accelerator program. With over 500 applications received in the first program, we see that Saudi Arabia and our region is resilient with so many entrepreneurs launching new services and technologies that have the breadth to be global businesses,” said a Representative of Sanabil Investments.

With the completion of investments in this cohort, 500 Startups will have invested in more than 230 startups to date in MENA, demonstrating its continued commitment to the region’s ecosystem. 

Applications are now open for Batch 2. Early-stage, tech-enabled startups in MENA with a working product and early traction are invited to apply here. Deadline for applications is July 15th.

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