Two Startups

Almost two weeks ago I wrote about Printaholics, which, according to their blog, would be launched in August this year. They seem to be targeting the market of UAE only, which could be a good thing for the startup and their customers too.

What I forgot to mention in that post is: there is a similar startup in Egypt that I found earlier this year. It is called Sortak, and it looks promising too. One of the interesting features they offer is a special level of privacy for hijabi women; an idea the guys at Printaholics might consider as it could prove popular in the more conservative soceity of the Gulf.

I am wondering what these two startups can learn from each other. They are providing (almost) the same service and apparently have the same business model, and because they are targeting two different local markets, I guess there is no fear of competition here. I am also wondering if there are any Saudi VCs (do they exist?) willing to invest in a similar idea.

(on a side note: what do you think of this a la TechCruch post? Should I do more of these? ;-)

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5 thoughts on “Two Startups

  1. Hell yea you should post more! These are wonderful signs of a growing economy. Entrepreneurs should be encouraged more and more.

    I have heard of these companies. How they design their business model is key. They should learn as much as they can from successful (and failed) similar companies everwhere. I hope to see many more start-ups in the ME =)

    Yes, Saudi (and Arabic) VCs do exist. However, their market is not as developed as in North America (not even close!). Financing options for start-ups in the ME are usually limited to loans and angel money. That’s actually probably good because VCs are very, very ruthless :S

  2. Thanks for mentioning printaholics (twice) on your blog. Customer privacy is an issue we spent very long hours trying to find a work-around for. One of the major challenges we have is that people of our region are reluctant to hand out personal photos over the internet. We do guarantee privacy and have strict rules to safeguard that. Our business model is slightly different than that of Sortak (allowing us to expand our product range quickly). We believe once the customers test our platform, we will be able to build enough trust with their personal and private photos. For example, we maximised automation so that we use as little human element as is possible. We also assign levels of privacy for every picture that the customer uploads which helps our software decide how strict a privacy measure to impose.

    This is an area where we are committed to continuously improve with the feedback we get from our customers, and people of the online world.

    I do love the Techurch style. In fact, its one of my favourite websites. We need a similar portal that covers regional start-ups. Israeli entrepreneurs get a lot of mention on techurch because a large segment of their users are readers of that service. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to our users. Thumps up if you could setup such a portal.

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