Apr'18 April: Let it rain, let it grow edition  

Ah, spring. Budding leaves. Longer days. Warmer weather. Growth. Yeah, that’s the one we love best. There has been a lot just in the first week. Insider announced an $11 million investment from Sequoia India. HotelRunner has teamed up with Skyscanner Hotels. The IMF projects more growth for Turkey. And we’re gearing up for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which will be hosted in Istanbul this year.

Insider funding from Sequoia India

Its focus is helping brands leverage e-commerce. And it’s been on a tear, with a presence in 16 markets. Insider has raised $11 million, in a round led by Sequoia India.

HotelRunner Teams Up with Skyscanner Hotels


Just in time for summer! HotelRunner has partnered with Skyscanner Hotels. What does that mean? More ways to book a hotel, even on the hotel’s website. No need to go to a separate site. Skyscanner has 44,000+ hotels on its platform. And with 70% growth on average, we expect it to be an expanding partnership.


Turkey Rising


Turkey’s on track for growth. So says the IMF. The multilateral body has revised its growth estimates for Turkey by .8 percent for 2018 and 2019. And how much will the economy grow? 4.3%. Not bad.

20 Women VCs in MENA You Should Know


Women aren’t just a trend. They’re an essential part of progress. Here is a list of 20 women VCs in MENA. In Turkey, we’re proud of Rina Onur, the head of 500 Startups in Istanbul, Gulsum Ciraci, Startup Bootcamp, and Ahu Serter, founder of Arya Women.

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul


It’s not a reptile. GEC, as the Global Entrepreneurship Congress is known, holds its 10th event in Istanbul. It’s a gathering of entrepreneurs from 170 countries around the world.


Islamic Fashion for Sale? 


Bloomberg reports that Sefamerve.com, Turkey’s biggest Islamic fashion e-retailer, has hired a firm to manage the sale of a “significant stake in the company.” Sefamerve.com has 5 million registered users and is valued at more than $500 million, with sales of $100 million last year alone.

The piece also reports that Sefamerve plans to open a retail store in MENA, including Egypt.

Read This to Feel Good About Global Innovation 


Silicon Valley has Facebook. Emerging markets have banking, agricultural, healthcare, and shopping innovations. This piece outlines how and why its Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East where inventiveness is on high. The bottom line comes down to: there is a need and no established incumbent. Why does that matter? Growth is coming from emerging markets, particularly on the Internet. Watch this space.

Venture Europe in Three Charts 

Here's what's really going on in European venture in three charts.

After Hours


What to read:

  • My Plastic Brain: One Woman’s Yearlong Journey to Discover if Science Can Improve Her Mind


What to listen to:

Up coming events

- Numan is in Doha from April 9-11.

- Ali is taking off at Google Launchpad on April 12.

- Startup Turkey is on at ITU from April 13-14. We’ll be there.

- We will be in Doha from April 15th till 18th. 

- On April 19, come say “Hi” to Ali at ITU Magnet Fireside Chat on Valuations.

- We round out the month in Dubai at the Arabnet Digital Summit.

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” ― Robert Hughes


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