Financial company Saxo Bank appoints Damian Hitchen as CEO for MENA

MENA – Saxo Bank, an online trading services provider, has announced the appointment of Damian Hitchen, the former regional manager at HSBC, as the company’s new CEO of the MENA region. According to the announcement, the newly appointed CEO of the MENA region will report directly to the company’s Chief Sales Officer Stig Christensen. Hitchen will be based in Saxo Bank’s regional office in Dubai. He will facilitate Saxo Bank’s growth in the region. Hitchen has over two decades of experience in the global financial sector. He is joining Saxo…

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Sebastian Smith gets appointed as Regional General Manager for Octagon Middle East and North Africa

MENA – Octagon, the marketing, creative and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment, in partnership with IPG’s Middle East Communications Network (MCN), the regional group of advertising and marketing agencies, has named Sebastian Smith as Regional General Manager, Octagon Middle East and North Africa. “It’s a momentous time to be coming into such an exciting region, and privilege to be doing that backed by the combined teams at both Octagon and MCN group,” said Smith. Smith will report to Aykan Azar, Managing Director, Octagon APAC, Middle East and…

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Amazon Payment Services launches first global FinTech lab to support regional startups

MENA – Payment processing business Amazon Payment Services has set up its first global FinTech lab at the DIFC Innovation Hub, UAE, to support regional start-ups and companies driving innovation in digital payments. According to the company, the initiative aims to increase FinTech adoption in the region by providing a forum for discussions on digital payments and addressing challenges customers face in making payments. “The region is going from a frontier stage to an emerging stage of financial technology. Through the Amazon FinTech Lab, we work with innovators and visionaries…

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Teeth-straightening startup BASMA.com closes US$3m Series A funding to scale up operation

MENA – BASMA.com, a teeth-straightening D2C startup, has closed US$3 million Series A funding led by MEVP to scale up its healthtech platform in the MENA region. The funding also saw the participation of SOSF, IM capital and returning investors iSME, Cedar Mundi Ventures and IFA capital. BASMA.com is a digital healthcare platform working on redefining the orthodontics support experience with a chain of digitally-equipped clinics to offer faster and more precise treatments through its licensed partners. It uses ISO and CE certified invisible teeth aligners, 3D-printed in-house, to assist…

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Uber appoints Saad Pall as its new General Manager for MENA

MENA – Taxi hailing app Uber has announced the appointment of Saad Pall as the new General Manager for Uber across the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Pakistan covering 36 cities across 8 countries in the region. Saad will lead the next phase of growth for Uber’s ride-sharing business across the region, bringing 15 years of strategy & marketing experience from the U.S., Singapore and Pakistan. Saad’s most recent role was as Uber’s General Manager in Pakistan, where he was responsible for all business and operations in the market.…

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Nuwa capital raises US$75m first close for its debut fund, a year after launch

MENA – Dubai and Riyadh-based Nuwa Capital has announced the first close of US$75 million for its debut fund (Nuwa Ventures Fund I – NVFI), after a year of its launch, making it one of the largest venture capital (VC) funds in the region. Nuwa will invest in startups in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, and Sub-Saharan Africa while is aiming for a final close of US$100 million within this year. The firm was founded in early 2020 by Khaled Talhouni, Sarah Abu Risheh, and Stephanie Nour Prince,…

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Bahwan CyberTek partners Lightbend to be its system integrator in MENA region

MENA – Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a worldwide provider of digital transformation solutions, has announced the expansion of its global partnership with Lightbend, the creator of Akka Platform and leader in cloud native architecture. BCT will become a system integrator partner of Lightbend in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where BCT has deep expertise with large enterprise customers across Oil and Gas, Telecom, Power, Banking, Retail and Logistics. BCT will lead digital transformation initiatives based on Akka Platform in key use cases across Predictive Analytics, Digital Experience and…

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Zenith Energy partners Fleet Oil & Gas to pursue oil and gas production and exploration

MENA – Zenith Energy, an international oil & gas production company focused on pursuing African development opportunities, has announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement (CA) with Fleet Oil & Gas, a privately owned oil and gas company led by the former Egyptian Petroleum Minister, Eng. Mahmoud Latif Amer. Fleet is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and has a representative office in Cairo, Egypt. The purpose of the CA is to jointly identity and pursue oil and gas production and exploration acquisitions in the Mediterranean, the Middle…

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Music streaming platform Anghami secures fresh funds from UAE’s Shuaa Capital

MENA – Anghami, the leading music streaming platform for listeners in North Africa and the Middle East, has raised fresh funds from UAE’s Shuaa Capital, the company and investment firm announced in a joint statement, without disclosing the size of the deal. “We are delighted to have led the funding of Anghami. As a team, we have been working closely with Anghami, bringing our expertise in originating and structuring deals to bear in order to successfully complete this investment round,” commenting on the investment, Jassim Alseddiqi, Chief Executive Officer of…

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Logistic startup Sprint secures pre-seed funding, to expand into the MENA region

EGYPT – Sprint, Egyptian logistics startup, is set to expand to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other countries in the MENA region after signing up almost 500 merchant customers at home. Sprint raised a six-figure US dollar pre-seed funding round from an angel investor in December of last year and will take on more capital as it looks to expand from product perspective as well as a geographic one. Founded by Mohamed Deif in 2019, the Cairo-based Sprint offers last mile delivery solutions to e-commerce merchants, with a focus…

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