Misk and 500 Startups celebrate the Demo Day of the first batch of the joint “Misk 500 MENA Accelerator” featuring 19 innovative companies spanning a number of countries across the MENA region including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. Sectors represented by the batch include AgTech, Developer Tools, eCommerce, EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech, HRTech, Security, Transportation, Travel/Hospitality and Social. A remarkable 37% of the companies have at least one female founder.
During Demo Day founders pitched their companies in front of an audience of investors from Saudi Arabia and the MENA region that were invited to this closed event. Around 200 guests attended the event and had a chance to speak directly with the founders following the pitches.
Over the course of the Misk 500 program, participating companies have experienced exciting results including between 10-200% month over month growth in revenue, achieving their stretch target goals set at the beginning of the program, and growing their customer bases from one country to 5 or more countries in the MENA region. To highlight a few, Denarii Cash achieved 200% MoM growth while being in the program and placed first at the Enterprise Agility Forum Pitch Contest. Gathern, led by a female founder, achieved their stretch targets over the course of the program and experienced 20% MoM growth. Kenz, led by two female founders, achieved a 40% MoM growth in revenue since beginning the program. Finally, Quizzito, an Algerian company, won the STEP Saudi Pitch Competition.
The program brought the best practices and experienced mentors of the 500 Startups flagship Silicon Valley Seed Accelerator program to the MENA region in partnership with Misk Innovation. Each company also received an investment from 500 Falcons.
The program received more than 20 visiting mentors from SF, LA, Miami, London, Bali, Canada, Portugal, and Germany. Over 50 hours of lectures were delivered, and a phenomenal number of 512 one-to-one office hours were conducted with the 19 companies.
As part of a shared mission to build local capacity, contribute to job growth, and increase skills for the next generation, Misk and 500 have organized a series of public monthly Tech Talks held at Misk Foundation to discuss emerging technologies as a developing tool, with the visiting 500 Startups mentors.
We are thankful to the General Authority of Small & Medium Enterprises “Monsha’at” for being a strategic partner in this program, as well as Almosafer, the Saudi-based online travel platform, for being our travel partner.