August 8, 2019

The tech startups in Dubai that could soon be on the radar of the “Big 4”

One of the key reasons that tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have managed to become part of a so-called “Big 4” of tech firms is due to their ability to acquire and invest in exciting, ambitious start-ups looking to disrupt sectors. It is said that the “Big 4” tech giants of 2019 have a combined market capitalization of 13% of the entire value of the S&P500. One of the main reasons behind their increasing value is their financial power to acquire added-value companies and make them subsidiaries of their overall corporations.

Source: IG

If you add up the most expensive company acquisitions by the “Big 4”, it totals a combined investment of $48.2 billion. The “Big 4”, also known as GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple), are subsequently cementing themselves at the forefront of sociocultural evolution. Many of these acquisitions by GAFA also help to strengthen their respective stock prices in the markets, with expanded skill sets and expertise reinforcing their hold over the tech space. That’s why GAFA mergers and acquisitions have become influential among retail traders that use contracts for difference (CFDs) to trade the price of GAFA shares. The benefits of CFD trading are such that traders use greater leverage on their investment to maximize the profitability of open positions which can be hugely beneficial when trading the price of tech behemoths like GAFA.

GAFA is also looking at new, untapped sources of tech potential. There are burgeoning tech hubs in the Middle East just waiting to be explored. In fact, Dubai’s tech hub – which is already home to thousands of new tech entrepreneurs – is being focused on greatly by the Government of Dubai. Its Futurism Programme competition has recently been announced, encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to submit their business idea and win Dh100,000 to make their project a reality. There are several tech start-ups in Dubai that have already generated a buzz and sizeable online consumer bases that GAFA will almost certainly be interested in tapping into in the months ahead.

burj al arab, dubai, hotel
Free-Photos (CC0), Pixabay

Wadi is one online marketplace that should certainly prick the ears of Amazon if it wishes to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Since 2015, Wadi has raised $97 million in external funding for its platform, which sells a host of consumer products such as fashion, electronics, cooking, car accessories, and much more. Similarly to Amazon, Wadi also allows local merchants and vendors to sell their products via the Wadi platform, just like the Amazon Marketplace.

All members of GAFA will also be intrigued by the growth of Dubai-based Network International, a payment solutions provider for online and mobile merchants, as well as offline businesses. As it offers end-to-end services across the digital payments ecosystem, this could certainly be of interest to GAFA members that want to expand their tech-enabled solutions across MENA.

It’s still somewhat surprising that Google hasn’t seen fit to launch its own real estate search engine. With millions moving home every year, a dedicated online listing platform for residential homeowners and prospective buyers could be really effective. Dubai’s start-up has become just that solution for real estate brokers, agents, and property owners in the Middle East. GAFA have also recently missed out on the chance to invest in Dubai tech start-up, Careem, which is a ride-hailing platform for MENA users. If you think it sounds remarkably like Uber, you won’t be surprised to hear that Uber itself has acquired Careem to broaden its own brand in the MENA region; another prime example of how well-aligned acquisition works for the biggest and best tech firms.

About the author 

Anu Balam

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