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You can’t go very far without hearing or reading about a new startup, and Bahrain’s startup ecosystem, StartUp Bahrain is undoubtedly growing. Startup Bahrain is a community initiative that brings together all the pillars of the ecosystem (entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, incubators, educational institutions, and the Government) to promote startup culture in the Kingdom. The startups are receiving more exposure than ever and the buzz around Bahrain’s innovative ecosystem is out!

It is guaranteed that this year has been successful for many startups and we are positive that we have an interesting year ahead! The 18 startups that we will feature are not listed, in any order. Our selection was based on the depth of technology, business lifecycle, and major milestones such as investors backing them. The list includes some startups who had the opportunity to raise new rounds of investment worth a few million, and others who took part in local and/or international events and won awards. These startups are transforming the landscape of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem for the better.

So, what does 2018 have in store for Bahrain’s startup ecosystem? It is pretty early to predict anything right now, but here are a few startups that you might want to keep an eye on this year

  1. OneGCC: A digital platform supporting the nationalization of GCC jobs. It offers various tools for job seekers and employers, including big data, skill matching, cloud interviews, online courses, and various HR technologies ranging from HR management systems to applicant tracking systems and more. The company also ranks job seekers based on their specializations and provides them with market insights and tools. Earlier this year, OneGCC scored a $2.5 million investment from C5 Capital and won an award at the Forbes Middle East Innovators Award – now that’s impressive! This GCC recruitment startup team includes Dr. Fatima Albalooshi, CEO, Alharith Alatawi, COO, Mohamed Zaman CMO, and Angelo Embuldeniya CTO.
  2. Eazy Financial Services B.S.C: A FinTech company focusing on providing technologies and innovative solutions to the financial sector. It will soon introduce the region’s very first Biometric Payment Network powered by NCR Corporation which features integrated fingerprint solution as an alternative to the traditional cash and card methods. Khaled Al Ahli, CEO of Eazy Financial Services, quit his previous job to lead a FinTech startup and he sure is moving in the right direction!
  3. Skiplino: This app acts as a directory for all services that require you to take a ticket and wait in a queue to be served; it helps users to queue in advance or avoid queues altogether. Skiplino is revolutionary in its ability to access thousands of different organizations that utilize this queuing system. No more waiting as you are given an invaluable tool that will help eliminate wasted time and ultimately increase efficiency and productivity. Skiplino’s brilliant startup got them an award at the UN World Summit Award, which selects the world’s best innovative applications and digital content. This startup was founded by Zaman Abdulhameed Zaman, along with his two co-founders Ricardo Gaspar and Alharith Alatawi.
  4. Drie: A platform that allows users to build their own infrastructure, while rapidly developing and deploying their web applications to the cloud without compromising on security. Drie is incubated in C5 Accelerate and co-founded by Kalbir Sohi, Ulrike Eder, Tom Van Neerijnen, and Jeremy Suarez.
  5. Malaeb: A community app for sports enthusiasts where they can easily book a football field. Individuals are also capable of creating their own teams, or searching for other teams to challenge them! Winning first place in Bahrain’s “FACE-OFF ON THE BAY” pitch competition, closing a seed round for an undisclosed amount from Raed Ventures, 500 Startups, Vision Ventures, and Inspire, the two young co-founders Ahmad AlRawi and Yasser Abdulaziz are unstoppable, with an ambition of being the Facebook of the football world.
  6. Majra: Helps individuals find a job they actually love and fit! This startup believes that every person should have the right to live a career that is built on passion and fulfillment, and every aspect of Majra’s experience is tailored to achieve that goal. Targeting millennials, co-founders Mahmood Zeyad and Najma Ghuloom are on a mission to reduce youth unemployment.
  7. WNNA: An Intuitive based personal recommendation engine that is empowered by AI. It recommends activities you could do based on decisions you would usually make. Activities may include listening to music, watching movies, eating food, visiting attractions and so on. It does this by running through different sources over the internet, and get you only the information you would regularly use to make a decision. According to founder Ali Mohsen, this App is “a personal digital brain for everyone”. WNNA has a bright future ahead as it was the winner for the Most Promising Seedstars GCC startup!
  8. DualNetworks SA: In just a year and a half, DualNetworks has built a unique wireless network in Switzerland, and is now in Bahrain by integrating in C5 Cloud10 Scalerator in the Kingdom. It provides precise, affordable and power-efficient identification and positioning solutions to track mobility patterns of vehicles, assets, skips, containers, machines, equipment, tools, objects and people. Runner-up at the “FACE-OFF ON THE BAY” pitch competition, this startup was co-founded by Guillaume Beauverd.
  9. A fish marketplace, at your fingertips! Fish sellers are enabled to use technology to reach more customers thanks to Hamad Alkhal, Mohammed Toraif and Sayed Mohamed Hasan, the co-founders of this genius startup. Its services make it easy to check the availability of fish in the market, as well as having fish delivered right to your door in less than 5 clicks. In addition to that, they offer services such as cleaning, slicing, and filleting.
  10. Inagrab: It is a deal search engine that allows users to make the best possible decision in the shortest possible time. Inagrab allows its users to save more money and find the best deals, ranging from flights to hotels to taxis that could pick them up from location to location while ordering food! Founded by Hussain Haji, a serial entrepreneur with four previous businesses, and co-founded by Mustafa Marhama, who is also a serial entrepreneur.
  11. Khadamaty: An online service platform that connects ‘Services Requester’ users who need help, with ‘Services Providers’, who are rated and reviewed after each task. Waleed Janahi, co-founder and CEO of Khadamaty, allows consumers to look for specific solutions by posting their jobs on the platform and connecting them to qualified service providers who are available to help.
  12. Fleek: An app designed for the girl who wants glam on the go, with a diverse array of salons and services. With Fleek, users are just a few taps away from finding a salon in Bahrain. Users can browse based on their location, desired services, prices and more. Co-founded by Husam Ramadhan, Fleek made booking salons for women a smoother experience.
  13. Automated Hotel: An early-stage startup working on redefining hotel guest experiences through technology. Evrim Persembe, founder of Automated Hotel, tries to bring digital tools to hotel rooms, and help guests engage with hotel services in an easier way to make their stay more pleasant.
  14. Akalati: A pioneer startup in digitizing custom orders for the F&B industry without eliminating any customization capabilities. It is specialized in catering, meal plans, traditional food, and cakes in Bahrain. Akalati offers the easiest and fastest food ordering for custom food orders. Abdulla AlRadhi is the genius founder who made catering a whole lot easier.
  15. Tamarran: Helps sports enthusiasts book their favorite sport pitches and activities on the spot and without going through the manual booking process. Having a passion for sports and technology, Ali Zayer, founder and CEO of Tamarran, is a sports enthusiast with more than 10 years of experience in IT Operations and Project Management.
  16. Alrawi app: Co-founders and partners, Hala Ahmed Sulaiman, Mohamed Ebrahim, and Ameera Mohamed, have come together to introduce Alrawi. It is a socio-cultural platform that enables the creation and distribution of Arabic audiobooks. Alrawi provides accessibility to books and cultural content to improve readership of books in the Arab world by creating the largest interactive audiobook library in Arabic. Not only does this increase awareness and improve knowledge of Arabic literature, this also enables people to maximize the use of their time while on the move by listening to useful content.
  17. iDaleel: A free business directory that collects all attainable information of active businesses and categorizes them based on function. Offering a huge database of information such as business contact details, location, and most importantly, direct links to social media pages. Founders Bassam Kazerooni and Dana AlAlawi launched the first Bahraini Social Media Directory in the region, and surely eased the process of searching for business related information!
  18. Dalal App: Offering female users free reservations at salons. Through the application, users can simply choose any salon and book an appointment. The co-founders Dalal Alghasra and Wafa Mohammed created this app to allow any customer to find their desired beauty destinations on their smartphones.

These are just a few of the startups that should be on your radar for the upcoming year. We hope these startups and innovative ideas inspired you to start working on your next idea. Make sure you head over to StartUp Bahrain to discover more about Bahrain’s growing community. Remember, it’s never too late to startup!