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Egypt produces highest number of HIPO start-ups in MENA

Egypt produces highest number of HIPO start-ups in MENA

Egypt has claimed the lion's share of high potential (HIPO) start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to start-up organisation and networking event, RiseUp Summit.

Launched in 2013, RiseUp Summit is a grassroots movement and innovation event that annually lists the top 20 HIPO start-ups in MENA.

In its 2017 list, Egypt has produced the most (eight) HIPOs across the entire region. However, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to six start-ups that secured the most funding amongst the 20 HIPOs.

Among the Egyptian start-ups is Instabug, founded in 2012 and included on Disrupt Africa's top 12 2017 list as a top African start-up to watch out for.

In June 2016, Instabug closed a US$1.7 million seed round led by Accel Partners to allow it to expand its suite of tools to provide a comprehensive support kit for mobile apps.

Other start-ups from Egypt include Elves, which acts as a personal virtual assistant; Crowd Analyzer, the first social media sentiment analysis tool in Arabic; Avelabs, the developer of next-generation automotive software; and Si-Ware Systems, a global semiconductor innovator.

The HIPOs are joined by healthcare platform Vezeeta, food discovery platform ElMenus and event management platform Eventtus.

Dalia Kamar, RiseUp Summit Manager says, "The question we're always asked by investors and global players is 'who should we be excited about in the region?' Now we're answering this by bringing the region's most promising businesses together in our HIPO Program. This is MENA's potential in a nutshell."

RiseUp Summit says HIPOs will be able to access its extensive network of distinguished experts, lawyers, mentors and media, in addition to showcasing their services a HIPOs exhibition during the event.

"HIPOs will also receive education opportunities at world-class universities and education platforms, such as Udacity and IE."

According to Forbes Middle East, the start-up scene in Egypt is still nascent, however; the top 20 start-ups featured on its debut 2017 list were reported to have raised a total of $24.2 million. By comparison, the top 20 UAE start-ups on last year's Forbes Middle East's ranking garnered US$41.6 million.

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