Newsletter : Nov’17

In startup circles, everyone is wild about Dubai. It is the center for all things MENA tech. This month, however, we’re seeing interesting developments out of Saudi Arabia. The country has pushed forward Vision 2030 – to diversify Saudi’s economy, moving it away from oil. The country has several incubators, Badir, Afkar, Kaust. And one of the hottest apps, Sarahah. Despite the political intrigues in the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia is a place to watch. And so are emerging markets. Not only are we seeing them push forward toward growth, but they’re strategizing and collaborating with one another. Whereas Silicon Valley and the U.S. used to be the hub, we’re seeing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East merge closer together – merging markets.

Newsletter : Oct’17

Tricks are supposed to be scary. No one wants one done to them. But what if we told you that it’s good to trick yourself – to think differently? Fall brings about change to the weather, the leaves – why not to our mindsets? We’re focused on new approaches this month. Check out our After Hours section for more ways to look at the world and yourself a little differently. It is the ultimate treat.

Newsletter : Sep’17

September isn’t merely the end of summer. With shorter and cooler days, it’s back to school and work. Yet, it’s not a chore. In many ways, September is like a blank slate – a new start to focus on all the things on our minds (and, hopefully, lists). We’re ready to take charge. And, boy, is there a lot to take charge of. Those headlines can make one think that there is no hope. All the more reason to dive into creation and innovation. Let’s do this.

Newsletter : Aug’17

It’s summahhh time…. We are working, we swear. In fact, we’re exercising our brains, brushing up on all things startup, VC, AI, VR, and MENA. Here’s our August Index of things we’re focused on, prepping for September. That’s right, back to school is around the corner. And we are so going to ace class this year.

You can continue to read it here.

Newsletter : Jul ’17

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” Damn straight Jack Kerouac. This month our focus is on the road. Hey, it’s July. But we couldn’t get over how many interesting things are happening in the transportation space. The Slovaks are building flying cars. Germany’s Daimler is snapping up ride-hailing companies across Europe. And, yes, there is the empty seat at the top of Uber….

Transport is everything, especially in MENA. You can have the greatest tech startup in the world, but if you can’t deliver a product or service to people – or if people can’t get to you, you’re finished. On that note, we dive into July thinking about transport and all things on the road.

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere. Keep rolling under the stars…..”

Newsletter : Jun ’17

Moore’s Law holds that the number of transistors per square inch would double every 12 months. Today, an integrated circuit holds more computing power than NASA did when it launched a man on the moon. Tech trends are advancing at a similar pace. Since the start of the year we’ve been watching FinTech and it is certainly getting interesting. So is the tech scene in Eastern Europe. This month we continue to follow trends in FinTech, but also have several interesting pieces that shed light on tech in Eastern Europe. Fasten your seatbelts friends. The ride is just getting started…..

Newsletter : May ’17

It’s May. In addition to shedding the winter slumber (and pounds – no more baklava), we’re shedding old mindsets. Souq and Careem have helped. The headline deals that both companies have made earlier this year are injecting tremendous excitement into the MENA startup ecosystem. We’re also keeping our eyes on all things fintech, which continues to be a rapidly changing landscape. As we start to countdown to our timeout on the beach, we’re ever more eager to see what the summer holds for MENA – and the Balkans, which we take a look at this month.

Newsletter : April ’17

We’re a quarter of the way through 2017. And while all seems topsy-turvy (Trump), things continue to push forward in the startup world, particularly in MENA. We’ve been eyeing the takeover of Souq.com, the growth of new funds, and rising stars, such as Trendyol founder and CEO Demet Mutlu. She was named one of Europe’s most inspiring entrepreneurs. We agree.

Newsletter : March ’17

As it matures, we’re seeing the importance of e-commerce beyond the click. This month we take a look at how the online phenomenon is impacting payments, mergers and acquisitions, and scale. Spoiler: A LOT.

Newsletter : February ’17

In Turkey: Series C rounds / VC growth 10x

Turkey dominates world headlines, not necessarily for the best reasons. And, yet, good reasons exist. Lots of good reasons. Turkish startups continue to raise money. Inflows into Turkish stocks are on the rise. This isn’t just Pollyannaish, wishful thinking. Startups keep pushing things forward in Turkey. Total whiplash