In the year-to-date, some of the bigger UAE based startups have expanded operations into new regional markets and managed to pull in record sums from private equity or venture capital. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE-based startups that offered mobility solutions and which are into agritech have taken top spots in LinkedIn’s rankings of the Top 10 such ventures in the country for 2022. That meant ekar, the car hire portal, took the top spot, while Pure Harvest Smart Farms came in third and Right Farm in fifth.

In second position was Postpay, the payments-focussed fintech and The Giving Movement took the fourth ranking. The BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) platform tabby is sixth, reaffirming that fintechs providing easy access to consumers to funding remains a key category at a time when inflation is biting into incomes.

The mortgage focussed Huspy comes in 10th. The Dubai based startup had seen sizeable funding interest for its latest round, and also been busy consolidating with three acquisitions of local property services firms.

It's all fintech

“This year’s list has witnessed the emergence of many startups from financial backgrounds with over half the list consisting of fintechs, signaling the increase in popularity and adoption of innovative fintech solutions by UAE entrepreneurs and consumers,” said Salma Altantawy, Senior News Editor at LinkedIn.

“UAE’s Top Startups List 2022 reflects the strong ambitions of entrepreneurs in this region. Albeit a more nascent sector regionally, the startups and VC space is facing unprecedented growth despite the economic downturn that is sweeping the globe.

“The startups on this list are those that are successful in navigating the evolution of consumer and business needs, leading the way through the new world of work.”

Agri prominence

More agritech firms coming into the startup limelight comes with the territory. The UAE and other Gulf markets have been pushing sizeable investments into food security and local sourcing possibilities. A new breed of agritechs have emerged in its wake, with measures that could help with loacalised farming and pushing the ‘farm-to-dining table’ formula.

According to LinkedIn, these are the more obvious trends in spotting the startup stars of the year:

Going green

* Sustainable solutions are top of mind for regional entrepreneurs. Startups like Pure Harvest Smart Farms and Right Farm venture into agritech to offer sustainable solutions and reimagine food supply. Such innovative solutions are essential for food security, especially in this region which faces higher risks of droughts and food shortages due to climate change.

Sustainability is in

* Other startups, such as The Giving Movement, are doing their part by producing streetwear using sustainable materials and donating a percentage of their proceeds to different causes.

BNPLs on the rise

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms like Postpay and Tabby are a testament to the growth of the fintech sector, unlike other regions where such startups are on the decline.

Democratizing investment

* With financial independence becoming crucial in today’s uncertain climate, a lot of retail investors are turning to fintechs like Sarwa (ranked 7th), baraka (at 8) and Huspy (10th spot) to invest their money in stocks, houses, and digital currencies.

Making the LinkedIn listings
'LinkedIn Top Startups' is an annual ranking put together by the social media network's News team.

The list is formed through an analysis of billions of interactions by the 850+ million members on the platform and measured on four pillars: employment growth, engagement with the company and its current employees, job interest and attraction of top talent.

● Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase over methodology time frame, which must be a minimum of 10% (lowered from 15%).

● Startups that have laid off 10% or more of their workforce within the methodology time frame are also ineligible.

● Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup.

● Job interest counts the rate at which people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings.

● Attraction of top talent measures how many employees the startup has recruited, as a percentage of the startup’s total workforce.

More to follow...