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Tata receives a license in Saudi Arabia, Uber launches a bus service in Egypt, and other news | The Middle East Weekly Roundup

Saudi Payments and JCB International agree on a partnership to enable the acceptance of JCB cards in Saudi Arabia.

Hala Al-Ghanim/Unsplash

Southeast Asia continues to build strategic relations with the GCC, UAE’s Abu Dhabi Capital Group invests in MissFresh (China), Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) partners with Japan’s JCB to empower local payments, and India’s Tata telecom receives a telecom license to operate in Saudi.

Investments

Rology, the Egypt-based health tech startup, raises investment from Dubai Angel Investors. Amount undisclosed.

HOT Technologies, a Kuwait-based digital fitness app, raises USD 1.1 million in seed funding from undisclosed investors.

IntiGo, a Tunisia-based on-demand bike taxi startup, raises USD 1 million (TND 2.9 million) from Capsa Capital Partners and angel investors.

Fetchr, the Dubai-headquartered last-mile startup, raises USD 15 million in fresh funding from existing investors BECO Capital, Tamer Group, and CMA CGM. This is in addition to the USD 10 million in bridge funding raised in December 2019 and is meant to help their expansion to Saudi.

MissFresh, Chinese-online grocery startup, raises USD 495 million from China International Capital Corporation, Tencent, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, and Tiger Global.

Sector News

Uber launches its first inter-city bus service in Egypt. Careem (owned by Uber) had shut down all Careem Bus services in Egypt and other countries in May.

Merak Capital receives Saudi’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) technology investment firm license. Merak Capital has commitments from the Saudi Venture Capital Company as revealed from an announcement in April this year.

Saudi Payments, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) subsidiary, partners with JCB International Co. (JCBI), international operations subsidiary of JCB Co. Ltd. Japan, to enable the acceptance of JCB cards in Saudi via SAMA’s networks.

Tata Communications, the Indian telecom company, announces it has secured a “Type B” telecom license to operate in Saudi Arabia.

Oracle announces it will establish its Cloud Computing Data Centers for MENA in Saudi Arabia.

Research & Reports

Facebook, World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), published the “Global State of Small Business” report, which surveyed SMEs across 50 countries including Egypt, UAE, and Saudi. (full report here)

Photo credit: Hala Al-Ghanim/Unsplash