When everything stopped, these TAQADAM startups kept moving forward

When Everything Stopped, These TAQADAM Startups Kept Moving Forward

Even a global pandemic couldn’t keep these diverse ventures from growing, accelerating and excelling.

While much of the world slowed down during the pandemic, TAQADAM graduates can’t be stopped.

Since 2016, the TAQADAM Startup Accelerator has helped 163 high-impact, high-value startups refine their business plans, boost their strategies and prepare their companies for the regional and global stages. A partnership between KAUST and SABB, this immersive program has helped accelerate businesses including Firnas Aero, UnitX, Uvera and more.

Those are just a few of the dynamic businesses driving innovation — and success. These six TAQADAM startups have continued to grow and evolve despite the pandemic, pushing ahead to improve the way we travel, transact and keep ourselves — and our pets — healthy. Here’s the latest:

Yehia Battach, founder of Boonus.

1. Boonus

In May 2021, Boonus was acquired by Resal, the largest gifting platform in Saudi Arabia. The Boonus app ensures sellers don’t miss out on customer loyalty wins. By bringing multiple customer loyalty initiatives under one digital umbrella, Boonus helps boost engagement while maximizing customer rewards. At the same time, companies can gain greater direct access to user data to drive better experiences going forward.

This is a critical platform, especially now. Studies show that approximately 80% of a company’s profits come from just 20% of their repeat customers — and with just a 5% increase in customer retention, a business can increase profits by 25% or more. Boonus offers an intuitive platform for increasing retention and, with it, their bottom lines.

2. Miqyas

Recently, leading clothing retailer Femi9 partnered with TAQADAM startup Miqyas, a dynamic app that helps shoppers match clothing to their specific body measurements generated by simply uploading two pictures.

With COVID-19 closing stores and shutting fitting rooms, technology like Miqyas has become increasingly sought after. For a per-use transaction fee, fashion retailers can integrate Miqyas into their e-commerce experience, ensuring shoppers find the right clothing, even without trying it on.

3. Wayakit

This summer, KAUST startup Wayakit earned 1st place at the SelectUSA Investment Summit’s Regional Pitching Sessions. The company also recently opened its first pilot production plant in Saudi Arabia, which will increase their formula production by 20,000 liters per day.

This is particularly critical given the increased demand for sanitizing solutions. Wayakit’s non-toxic and eco-conscious disinfectant kills 99.999% of bacteria as well as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain. Another perk: while many disinfectants take 30 minutes to work, this fast-acting solution works in just 30 seconds.

4. Rehla

In April 2021, Rehla hosted its first crowdfunding round on the Scopeer platform, attracting over two million SAR in funding. The digital rideshare app connects drivers and passengers based on where both are heading — and offers a more competitively-priced option for travelers with greater convenience for drivers.

5. UnitX

Also in April, UnitX joined NVIDIA Inception. With a shared vision of accelerating AI-driven data science, this partnership will help drive the big data revolution, helping companies stay competitive as industries shift to cloud-based infrastructures.

The 2018 TAQADAM graduate — and 2019 Saudi Entrepreneurship World Cup winner — helps local enterprises integrate with the contemporary digital tools and transformations they need to succeed going forward.

Fady Azzouny, founder and CEO at Vetwork.

6. Vetwork

After a successful launch in Egypt, Vetwork recently expanded its services into Saudi Arabia. The app connects pet owners to certified veterinarians, trainers, groomers, dog-walkers and more, all available for in-home services on demand. This eliminates the need for transporting pets to and from the vet, and enables more comfortable exams and treatments, as needed.

These are just some of the high-impact startups emerging from the TAQADAM Startup Accelerator. Learn more about current and recent cohorts, or how to apply for upcoming programs.