Jan'18 Insider, Investments, Startups and more...  

Happy New Year! 


What are we looking at in 2018? Money. Specifically, how we spend it and move it around. We’ve been big on FinTech for the past few years. With the rise of bitcoin and other crypo-currencies, we don’t doubt that there will be big things happening in the intersection of banking, finance, and tech. 


Self-driving cars will gain more traction. It will be interesting, however, to see what happens to Uber in the coming year. 


Amazon will continue to make an impact on e-commerce worldwide. We’re also keeping an eye on how it will impact logistics. (Hey, you gotta move the merchandise.)  Amazon launched brick and mortar stores last year. We wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon makes a play for more, especially in emerging markets. 


That’s all we got for now. But we’re just getting started. Tune in next month to see how we think things are shaping up. 


Will Abraaj buy Turkish drugmaker Sanovel?


Bloomberg reports that private equity firm Abraaj is in talks to buy a stake in Turkish drugmaker Sanovel Ilac Sanayi. Sanovel produces anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antibiotic medicines. Abrajj manages $13.6 billion in assets and has a $536 million fund dedicated to Turkey. It has cut several deals over the past few years, including taking over the franchise of KFC’s regional operations from Yum! Brands.


Armenia: Tech center?



A few years back, we visited Armenia specifically to look at it is startup ecosystem. As this TechEU piece outlines, it’s there. While the country is small and landlocked, it has a number of things going for it – namely an education system that values math and science (a legacy of the Soviets) and a well-connected diaspora in Silicon Valley. It’s not likely to be the next big thing, but things are happening and it’s worth keeping an eye on. 

The State of European Tech 2017 Report

An excellent compilation of what Europe’s tech scene looked like in 2017 – and where’s its headed. Check it

Score for Turks and women at MIT


Not only is Asu Ozdaglar an electrical engineer, this Turkish born woman is now the head of MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Don’t tell us women don’t do tech. 

HR tech startup Bayzat receives $5M


Dubai-based Bayzat, an insurance and HR solutions provider, has scored $5 million in funding in a round led by Silicon Badia. As Wamda reports, this funding brings Bayzat’s total funding in this Series A round to over $8 million. 

Bonus: Boost Online Classifieds 

Want to increase your online conversion rates? Check out Insider’s eBook that outlines best practices for online classifieds. 


China's ZTE to increase its investments in Turkey

China is going big in Turkey. The country’s largest telecom provider, ZTE, plans to invest in Turkey’s Netas.

It will open a number of “centers” in Turkey, including a training center and a regional hub to support Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).


That’s a big boost for Turkish telecom and innovation. 

Ukraine’s startup ecosystem is finally seizing its moment

Startup gatherings are usually rah-rah fests, focused on the deals and dreams, never the struggles. What made Seedstars CEE Summit in Kiev last month stand out is that, as TechEU points out, “it helped stakeholders identify weaknesses in the ecosystem that need to be addressed if the ecosystem wants any chance of growing.” Striving to improve. Now that’s worthwhile. 

After Hours

Read & Listen

Make room on your book shelves people. We need to make space for Magdalena Yesil’s book, Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy. Having spent years as an entrepreneur and investor, this is a must read on how women are shaping Silicon Valley. 


We’ve been grooving to the smooth tunes of this rising London based star, Nilufer Yanya. Seriously people, the girl’s got talent. 



Oscar watch


German-born Fatih Akin has been using his movie camera to capture the lives of Turks and Germans. In his latest, In The Fade, he rivets the screen with the question of neo-Nazis. Diana Kreuger gives a stellar performance. It’s Germany’s submission for the Oscars. 

Cook & Drink

Galette des Rois
The French are wild about these flaky and buttery pastries eaten on January 6, Kings Day. We’re wild about them period. Get onto this recipe. Yummmayyyy. 



This is the year we’re finally going to get up to speed with Numan on wines. Buckle down with this guide and pop open those gamets and Sancerres. Bottoms up. 


Keep those resolutions

You want to lose weight. You’re observing “Dry January.” You’re committed to taking that accounting class (good luck). Keeping those promises made in the flash of champagne at midnight is hard. Here is how you can keep those resolutions. And here are the apps that can help you. 

Up coming events

If you’re in Doha from January 9-12, give Ali a shout. He’s attending the Arab Innovation Academy.

We love hitting up ITU Cekirdek. Come say hi on January 23 and 25. 

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” ― Henry David Thoreau