Maybe it’s unbelievable that in the Middle East region, there is a startup which its value is about 150 million Dollar!!!
We are talking specially about Iran in the Middle East, the country which has experienced different sanctions and still after JCOPA struggling with some sanctions that have remained in place. Surely, sanctions made so many problems for Iranians in different aspect of their lives but at the same time these sanctions made opportunities available for Iranian companies because they can exploit the absence of reliable international companies; for example, Iranian people cannot place orders directly from Amazon. However, Digikala runs the same business and cover the lack of international online shopping websites. Digikala now is the most valuable and known startup in Iran (its passing being as a startup and is becoming a large company), its value based on “World Startup Report” is 150 million Dollar, it’s Alexa rank in Iran is 3 and 405 in the world. Competition among these online shops has getting more intensive and many new websites entered to this market such as Bamilo, Zanbil and etc.,
Developing online shops increases the need of having a good search engine that can find a product which is priced less and with better options. Torob covers the needs of searching different goods these days in Iran. This website searches in different online shops and can sort the items by different filters.
Uber, the most valuable startup in the world conquered many countries, but in Iran local apps like: Snapp and TAP30 are getting popular each day and their clients are satisfied by their provided services.
YouTube and Netflix are the most popular websites to see online video and movies but YouTube is not reachable in Iran due to censorship and Netflix do not offer services for Iran, so again, an Iranian web base company fill this gap, this company is Aparat, which is growing rapidly.
List of some global websites and their local version in Iran are as follow:
|Online retailing||Amazon||Digikala, Bamilo, Zanbil and etc.|
|Online transportation||Uber||Snapp, TAP30|
|Food delivery||Grubhub||Zoodfood, Chilivery and etc.|
|App center||Google play||Café Bazar and etc.|
|Discount shopping||Groupon||Netbarg, Takhfifan and etc.|
|Online TV and video||Netflix, YouTube||Aparat|
|Online homestay||Airbnb||Rahoja, Jabama and etc.|
Although startups mentioned in the above table have become popular among Iranians and has many users but so many new startups are running now and you can see some of them and information about them in here.
Iran has young population and most of them have academic degrees. Students in Iran are encouraged by universities to run their own startup, some accelerators (place for helping startups to grow and enter to real world of business) are working in universities such as Sharif, also private accelerators are entering to the market like Sarava Pars (is a shareholder in Digikala and Café Bazar) and Avatech. These accelerators make partnership with startup owners and they can get benefit from this partnership when the startup is commercialized.
As it is obvious, there are many new ideas which can turn to profitable companies through smart investments. So, one of the fresh opportunities for the foreign investors is the startups in Iran.