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Middle East could be seeing more billion-dollar startups – Careem CEO

Middle East could be seeing more billion-dollar startups – Careem CEO
The Middle East could be having a few more unicorns

Mubasher: The Middle East is not far from seeing more billion-dollar startups in the coming months, and it could be having “a few more unicorns in the region,” CEO of ride-hailing company Careem Mudassir Sheikha stated during a CNBC event

The momentum in the ecosystem is “just incredible,” he noted, adding that some aspects of becoming an entrepreneur in the Middle East have been made easier, yet scaling a business will still be difficult.  

He elaborated that growing and expanding a business involves new markets, besides gaining trust and loyalty from customers while dealing with the “operational complexities” to run a tech firm in the region.

“My sense is that funding is going to be solved, initial talent will be solved,” Sheikha said, noting that growing that talent pool and finding people who can expand the business will be “the next frontier.”

He remarked that “Fundraising is becoming easier,” as “Finding top talent to build these products and build these businesses is starting to become easy, because top talent sees the value in building these entrepreneurial ventures.”

Sheikha said that as the Middle East has “no shortage” of opportunities, this could be another factor that helps create “a lot more unicorns” over the coming few months and years.

In the past, many people preferred to work for multinational companies rather than start their own firms, according to the CEO.

It is worth noting that US-based Uber Technologies had completed its acquisition of Careem for $3.1 billion in early 2020.