Singaporean Blockchain venture fund and Cardano accelerator, Adaverse, with offices in KSA, UAE, has strategically invested in Sorbet, a Saudi Arabian startup geared towards helping freelancers to manage and transact with clients. Sorbet uses Circle Payment services, better known as stablecoin USDC to help clients and freelancers carry out instant payments.

The investment, part of a $10 million initiative to foster venture-building in the region, aligns with the economic upswing projected for the region’s digital economy.

The MENA digital freelance market is currently values at $4 billion and while expected to grow it faces inefficient payments systems which according to the press release affects 40 million self employed workers.

Sorbet’s vision is to onboard all creatives onto web3 by removing the technical barriers traditionally associated with dApps. The tool leverages blockchain technology to provide a seamless payment solution using stablecoins.

Rami Djebari, co-founder of Sorbet, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: “Receiving support from an experienced partner like Adaverse will accelerate our development and enhance our market strategy. This collaboration is a milestone in breaking down financial barriers and enabling limitless growth opportunities for professionals in the region.”

Sorbet Beta will further refine the freelancing experience by integrating project management tools and streamlined payment processes. As per Sorbet website, it charges 2.5% when clients send money to freelancers.

Vincent Li, founding partner at Adaverse, commented on the investment stating, “Sorbet exemplifies the potential of blockchain to enrich and enhance economic systems. We are excited about the potential Sorbet holds for economic upliftment in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

The Sorbet Beta, launching this May, will introduce essential features to improve the freelancing experience. This suite of work tools will focus on streamlining project management, simplifying payment processes, and facilitating better client interactions, all designed to help freelancers transition smoothly into a more connected and efficient digital workspace.

In March 2024, Adaverse, signed an MOU with Saudi based ASFA Ventures to drive Web3 innovation in KSA and beyond. Adaverse has also invested in Saudi Arabian Blockchain Insurtech startup TAKADAO, in addition to Nuqtah NFT marketplace.

Tookeez, a Moroccan Blockchain loyalty startup, has raised $1.5 million from Azur Innovation Fund, a public private seed capital fund in Morocco.

As per the press release, the startup plans to use the funds to expand into Morocco and the MENA region. The funds will also go into technical development for its blockchain technology system. The fintech startup is a universal system that aggregates loyalty points from a wide range of brands into a single wallet. This wallet enables transactions to be carried out across a wide network of shops and brands, making the platform a source of additional value and complementary income for the ecosystem.

Following this, tookeez plans to expand into other African countries by 2026 to reach 4 million active members by 2028.

Hicham Amadi, Wiam and Siham Emejjad founded tookeez with an aim of eliminating the challenges associated with loyalty point conversions and transforms the royalty program ecosystem. The biggest challenge is point accumulation which is usually slow, while redemption is also difficult.

Siham Elmejjad, CEO of tookeez, comments, “We are humbled by the trust of our investors. This fundraising marks a crucial step in our development. Our goal is to reach 4 million active members by 2028. To make tookeez a true ecosystem of economic and financial inclusion for our continent.”

tookeez collects loyalty points from multiple brands and stores them in a wallet, which users can then use to transact across a large network of stores and brands. Brands use tookeez to allow their customers to pay with accumulated points.

Azur Innovation Fund noted that it is proud to collaborate with tookeez, recognizing that the startup is redefining the customer loyalty ecosystem. “Our ambition is to support entrepreneurs who have a significant impact on the world, and tookeez embodies this vision perfectly,” Adnane Filali, President of Azur Innovation Fund, said.

The loyalty market in Africa and the Middle East is expected to reach $6.48 billion in 2024. Between 2019 to 2023, this market recorded a CAGR value of 12.1%. It is predicted that this market in the region will continue to grow at a CAGR of 9.7% between 2024-2028.

IO research, a, blockchain and AI startup, founded and headed by Ahmad Al Shadid, has raised $30 million in a series A funding, valuating the company at $1 billion.

IO research, the creators of Depin, is a Solana based decentralized AI compute cloud. IO Research launched DEPIN in November 2023. At the time this was considered as an opportunity for cryptocurrency miners in possession of underutilized GPUs, as well as clients requiring a scalable and affordable computing solution amid rising costs.

In November, Founder and CEO Ahmad Shadid has noted, “This is a monumental moment for and the entire decentralized computing community. We are not simply launching a platform; we are pioneering a global movement towards optimal utilization of computational resources. Our vision has always been to bridge the gap between underutilized resources and rising computational demands facing AI and ML engineers, not to mention crypto miners. I believe we can make a significant contribution to the AI revolution over the coming months and years.”

With deployment speeds of less than 90 seconds, will enable ML and AI engineers to deploy massive enterprise-level clusters to power models for training and inference. is said to be up to 90% more cost-effective than traditional GPU providers such as AWS and Azure.

Few months later, March 2024,, DEPIN has received $30 million in funding spearheaded by Hack VC in collaboration with several angel investors including Multicoin Capital, 6th Man Ventures, Solana Ventures, OKX Ventures, Aptos Labs, Delphi Digital, The Sandbox, Sebastian Borget of the Sandbox, and others.

In addition, there was investment from Matty Taylor, Ian Krotinsky (founder of Tiplink), MH Ventures, Amber Group, Arkstream, Modular, Continue Capital, Foresight, Longhash, SevenX, and Delphi Digital.

According to sources familiar with the Series A funding, the funds were raised in tranches coupled with the fact that it is structured as a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE), with token warrants in a 1:1 ratio. The first tranche happened in January but it was not until recently that the final one was completed.

The CEO and founder of Ahmad Shadid, explained the terms of the investment, stating that investors have a minimum one-year lock-in period for tokens.

This $30 million fund will help the Artificial Intelligence (AI) protocol enhance the aggregation of blockchain distributed GPUs.

Saudi Arabian based Blockchain enabled Insuretech platform TakaDAO has won 2nd place at Meet the Drapers Season 6, winning $500K in funding.

Sharene Lee, Co-Founder of TakaDao stated on LinkedIn, “ We’re thrilled to announce that Takadao has secured 2nd place on Meet the Drapers Season 6 and clinched a whopping $500k in funding! It’s a testament to the hard work, dedication, and ingenuity of our incredible team. We couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of our amazing Takatribe and the relentless efforts of every member of our team. Your belief in us has been our driving force, and we’re profoundly grateful for each and every one of you.”

Meet the Drapers, is a global entrepreneur show, where startups can pitch their ideas and win funding. Tim Draper is the host of the show. In its Season 6 it carried out a show in Saudi Arabia.

This is not the first funding received by TakaDAO. The company received a strategic investment from Cardano accelerator Adaverse in January 2024.

Adaverse focuses on scaling Web3 solutions. This came at the heels of Adaverse’s expansion into Saudi Arabia with the opening of an office in Riyadh. Adaverse is now the first venture capital fund in the KSA to specialize in Web3 and blockchain early-stage investing. In 2024, the company plans on investing $10 million in local Saudi Web3 startups.

Furthermore in October 2023 Takadao, raised $1.6 million in pre seed round led by Draper Associates. Other investors include BIM, Core Vision ventures, Prince Sultan Bin Fahad bin Salman Al Saud.

Blockchain DeFi Regulated DeFi  (ReDeFi) FCA registered UK crypto asset financial firm has been selected to Alpha startup program at Web Summit Qatar 2024 which will is being held between February 26th-29th 2024 in Doha Qatar.

The crypto asset firm, ReDeFi , chosen for the ALPHA startup program, is one of the few standout projects at the event. As per the release, only ten percent of the applications to the ALPHA startup program are accepted and granted. ALPHA shines a spotlight on early-stage startups with outstanding potential, connecting them with the world’s most influential people and companies.

ReDeFi’s goal is to ensure that people around the globe have the same access to banking services and financial resources.

The ALPHA program is only for a few selected, and most specifically, only 10% of the applications are accepted and granted. ReDeFi will be exhibiting at the Web3 Summit Qatar 2024 offering the blend of decentralized finance and new financial services.

The press release stated, “ReDeFi’s selection for the ALPHA program at Web Summit Qatar is more than just an achievement; it’s a doorway to new opportunities and connections. The team looks forward to making a lasting impression in Doha, and they invite everyone to come and be a part of their journey.”

Speakers at the Web Summit Qatar, include Delta Blockchain Fund, Bitget, and others.

Qatar has been opening up to blockchain and digital assets over the past year culminating in the launch of their digital assets lab. Qatar is seeking to attract digital assets, crypto firms, blockchain, and AI firms to the country, and it seems this has already started to work.

Blockchain Founders Fund, SpeedInvest, Daphni, 212, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and TLG have all invested in SME fintech lending startup, UAE Flow48. This also included angel investors such as Scott Sandell from NEA.

Enrique Martinez Hausmann, Principal at Speedinvest. Stated, “What Flow48 is bringing to the table is not just innovative; it’s essential for SME growth in the region’s economic landscape. As we look ahead, the potential for Flow48 to expand beyond Revenue Based Financing is very exciting. The team is on track to become a full-service fintech solution for SMEs and expand their offerings to insurance, payments, and other financial services.”

Founded by Idriss Al Rifai on the principle of addressing the challenges SMEs face in securing working capital financing, Flow48 has developed a state-of-the-art platform that stands out with its real-time functionality, integrating seamlessly with major ERP providers, payment gateways, and e-commerce platforms. By enriching its proprietary risk engine and leveraging arrays of data from several sources, Flow48 is able to offer a more precise and efficient credit assessment process, setting new standards in SME lending.

A unique aspect of Flow48’s model is its commitment to ESG principles, focusing on empowering underrepresented segments within the SME sector. Notably, the startup has prioritized funding SMEs owned by minorities and women, a significant step in fostering inclusivity and diversity in the business landscape. “We believe that if the gap in financing exists for everyone and every industry, the hurdle is even higher if you are a woman or from a minority background,” says Al Rifai. “What we offer can be vital for these small business owners. We are contributing to building a more equitable economic environment.

In line with its broader mission, Flow48 is engaging with SMEs that drive positive environmental impact. This includes not only a focus on green energy sectors but also supporting enterprises that integrate sustainable practices into their business models. Among its diverse client base, Flow48 proudly counts several women and minority migrant-led businesses.

With its eyes set on expansion, Flow48 is strategically venturing into South Africa, attracted by its robust SME lending market and advanced fintech ecosystem. This move aligns with the company’s commitment to data-driven, real-time lending solutions and its ambition to empower SMEs across emerging markets globally. Going into South Africa is not just geographical but a deliberate step to integrate into thriving fintech ecosystems.

The Oman blockchain ID tech startup, Nashid has been selected by Swiss Tech4trust accelerator to participate in their program out of Trust Valley of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Nashid’s acceptance into Tech4Trust’s latest season underscores their pioneering approach to harnessing blockchain technology for Identity and Verifiable Credentials.

“Being part of Tech4Trust is a significant stride towards our global expansion ambitions,” shared Ahmed Al Marjeby, Co-founder and CEO of Nashid. “We are enthusiastic about collaborating with a global community, extracting invaluable insights, and honing our solutions to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving digital trust sphere.”

In 2020, co-founder Ahmed Al Marjeby found his online identity had been hacked. Al Marjeby found the fact that paper-based identity documents cannot be verified digitally. Motivated by this event and recognizing the urgent need for secure digital identity solutions, Ahmed, together with Mahmood Al Lawati, launched Nashid in 2022.

Tech4Trust will offer Nashid a golden opportunity to liaise with international experts, regulators, and government agencies.  This collaboration will also open doors to the broader Swiss and European markets, presenting unmatched potential for growth.

The startup previously secured an investment from the Oman Technology Fund and won awards in the Entrepreneurship World Cup 2022 and the GISCO Startup Competition.

WOW Summit has announced the launched of its WEB3 Summit Dubai, widely hailed as the WOW SUMMIT Dubai to be held on October 8th and 9th 2023. 

Following its successful events in Lisbon and Hong Kong, WOW Summit Dubai 2023 emerges to unite distinguished industry titans, esteemed government officials, visionary funds, enterprising venture capitalists, boundary-pushing NFT and digital artists, trailblazing entrepreneurs, and influential multinational corporations.  The event will unfold at the  Atlantis the Royal, The Palm—a sanctuary of innovation where dreams transform into reality.

The Summit aims to drive the innovative trajectory of Web3, covering cutting-edge trends and innovations in technology. Through carefully selected programs, attendees will explore topics including the Web2 – Web3 transition, CBDC, regulations, asset tokenization, and the social impact and applications of blockchain and DLT technologies for real-life applications. 

Blockchain visionaries and digital assets leaders, alongside respectful UAE government officials will grace the conference stage, including Eowyn ChenCEO, Trust WalletJoy JohnDirector, Cloud Native and Innovation, EMEA, OracleTalal TabbaaCEO CoinMenaProf. Hoda Alkhzaimi, Director for EMARATSEC & Co-chair of the WEF Global Future CouncilBen CaselinMaskEx SVP & CSO; Scott TielTOKO Founder & CEO of TOKO by DLA PiperSam KatielaFounder & CEO of Mamemo and Chairman of Crypto Valley Partners.

The summit will cover a wide range of topics and activities, providing valuable insights into the main NFT use cases, the latest updates on DEFi, DAOs, and dApps, digital asset management companies, global digital assists regulations, and more. Additionally, startup competitions will be held, offering valuable prizes to the winners and a chance to win up to USD 1,000,000 with the MMPro Expert program.

Ivan V. Ivanov, global CEO of WOW Summit, said: “Our mission is to organize an exclusive event unlike any other in the landscape of blockchain, web3, and crypto events. Our vision is to create an unparalleled experience, setting us apart from others in the region. We are fully committed to delivering top-notch content, showcasing world-renowned speakers, and forging strategic partnerships that define the cutting edge. To ensure the utmost value for our attendees, we meticulously verify all participants, guaranteeing the finest networking opportunities and the best event experience possible.”

 Join us now as we redefine the boundaries of what is possible and chart a course towards unprecedented success.

UAE’s DMCC, freezone has awarded blockchain AI Columbian startup EatCloud with the Impact scale program award. EatCloud is one of three startups to win cash prizes of $49,000 for ‘DMCC Impact Scale-Up Program Powered by C3’.

The six-month program supports the growth of impact-driven businesses that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and it represents a part of DMCC’s ESG strategy. As the UAE prepares to host COP28 and lead the conversation that drives the global sustainability agenda, the program comes to an end. Fifteen impact-driven SMEs addressing some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges pitched their companies to a panel of business experts from PwC, Global Ventures, Astrolabs, and Brunswick in a pitch day that marked the end of the program.


The winners of the program are Grocedy, a Nigerian FoodTech platform that aggregates micropayments from low and middle-income earners towards a monthly food subscription and other micro financial services, EatCloud, a Colombian start-up that uses AI and blockchain technology to redistribute surplus food worldwide, reducing waste and supporting food banks globally, and Chefaa, an Egyptian GPS-enabled pharmacy benefits platform that allows patients to order, schedule and refill recurring prescriptions as well as all pharmacy needs. 

Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said, “As DMCC continues to place Dubai at the heart of global trade, it is essential that we also use our platform to have a positive impact on society. This is a momentous year for the UAE where sustainability is center-stage, and it is also integral to DMCC’s strategy. With 15 companies tackling some of the most pressing environmental and social issues we face today, the first edition of the DMCC Impact Scale-Up Program marks a great success in working towards this goal. Congratulations to all the participants in the program – we are excited to see your successes and your positive impact in the coming years.” 

Khalid Kalbat, Director of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Department at the Ministry of Economy of UAE, added, “This program is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to social and environmental impact and to promoting entrepreneurship in the region. I commend DMCC and C3 for their efforts in enabling participating businesses to establish a presence in the UAE and leverage our local ecosystem as a launchpad to successfully expand across the MEA region.”

 All SMEs participating in the program became part of DMCC’s fast-growing community of over 22,000 member companies, receiving a bespoke 70% discount on license fees and flexi-desk space for two years. Further discounts on license renewals will also be offered for the following three years.

This comes as DMCC signed on two major blockchain partnerships this week. 

Egypt founded, WEB3.0 messaging and Blockchain communications platform, Pravica, with offices in Egypt and the UAE is the only MENA-based startup chosen among the top 20 finalists for Deutsche Telecom’s T-Labs and T-Mobile’s T-Challenge 2023.

T-Labs is the R&D department of Deutsche Telekom which focuses on translating new technology trends and delivering tangible results into Deutsche Telekom’s innovation portfolio. Their current research areas are: Future Networks, Spatial Computing, Network Security and Digital Twin and Decentralized Systems

Pravica, an Egyptian WEB 3.0 Messaging and Blockchain communications platform with offices in UAE was one of the 20 projects selected for T-Labs and T-Mobile’s Challenge in 2023.

The focus of T Challenge in 2023 is utilizing decentralized technologies for telecommunication in other words Web3 in telecommunications. As per the T-Challenge announcement, the start-ups were chosen because they stood out for their innovative Web3 solutions powered by 5G.

T-Mobile USA, and T-Labs were looking for innovative and creative approaches for the segments customer engagement and loyalty, wallet and ID management, network and security, media, entertainment, and experiential as well as sustainability.

The 20 finalists, including startups from the USA, Europe and Asia, will prepare and present their solutions to Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US leaders.

Six winners of this group will be selected and split €600,000 euros, or roughly the same in U.S. dollars, in prize money. Winners will also have the opportunity for their solutions to be featured by T-Mobile US and Deutsche Telekom in other projects across Europe and the U.S.

Founder and CEO of Pravica, Mohamed Abdou said, “We are very proud to have been the only Web3 startup from the MENA region to have been chosen among the top 20 global decentralized players. We were selected because we are offering the future of communications utilizing Web3 technology, blockchain, and secured encryption ushering in a new era of messaging. We have built an infrastructure that aims to bring wallet-to-wallet messaging functionality to Web 3.0 communities. Our main mission is to empower the user-owned Internet by allowing our users to own and control their data and encryption keys linked to their owned DIDs. Being selected is a testament that Web3 startups from the MENA region can compete globally with their world-class solutions.”

Deutsche Telecom in their press release stated, “We are very happy to announce the final nominees of our T Challenge on Web3 in telecommunication. The nominees focus on innovative ideas to change the way the world uses the internet. We cannot wait for the demo day and award ceremony on May 23, 2023, to come and experiences the solutions live here in Bonn at Deutsche Telekom headquarter.”

John Saw, Executive Vice President, Advanced & Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile, added, “Each and every one of the names on this list stood out for their innovative Web3 solutions powered by 5G. They’ll spend the next few months evolving and refining their concepts that will help shape how we use the next generation of the internet.”