STEP Conference 2020 closes with deals worth over half a billion dirhams

DUBAI, The 9th edition of the STEP Conference, the leading technology festival for emerging markets, under the theme, the World in Dubai, just concluded with over AED600 million worth of funding deals announced between companies, regional and homegrown start-ups.

The two-day event drew 7000 visitors with a total of 300 international and local exhibitors from 24 countries and 200 speakers.

Ray Dargham, Founder and CEO at STEP, said, One of the best things about this year’s STEP Conference is breaking our record with 300 showcasing start-ups from all over the world. We are also proud to have several funds and start-up investments announced at STEP 2020.

Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City, added, Continuing the success of the previous years, the 2020 edition of STEP, a proven hotbed for entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors was a great way for DIC to kick-off its plans for the year and reiterate its notable economic contributions to the UAE and beyond. This year, DIC hosted the ‘Float Your Pitch’ competition, and the response received was remarkable and earmarked another great event for us.

Some of the key announcements from the conference included the launch of new investment platform, Nuwa Capital by managing partner, Khaled Talhouni, which is targeting up to US$100 million in commitments from emerging markets, primarily covering the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, including KSA and UAE, East Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

Khaled Talhouni, Managing Partner at Nuwa Capital, said, We are at a pivotal moment for the ecosystem, where beyond capital, it has never been so important to provide founders with the right mentors, partners and operators, dedicated to helping them navigate the region’s complex operating environment, and that is the vision behind Nuwa.

Vezeeta, Middle East and Africa’s leading digital healthcare platform secured $40 million in its Series D round led by Gulf Capital, the Middle East’s largest and most active alternative asset management firm. The round saw strong support from existing investor, Saudi Technology Ventures, who led Vezeeta’s Series C round in September 2018.

Okadoc, the leading instant doctor appointment booking platform, closed its $10 million Series A round, following a $2.3 million seed round in 2018. The latest fundraising round is the largest heathtech Series A in the MENA.

Additionally, EAT application, a Dubai-based online restaurant reservation platform used throughout the Middle East, raised a $5 million Series B round of funding led by 500 Startups and Derayah VC. This brings EAT’s total amount of money raised to $9.2 million.

Source: Emirates News Agency