5 startups that dug their paths from university hallways
This article is a crosspost from Nuwait.
Kuwait has one of the fastest growing business communities in the region, especially in the SMEs and startup scene. Back in 2015, the country witnessed the acquisition of Talabat at around $170 million.
In 2017, Delivery Hero, the German online food ordering company, acquired Carriage, the fast growing competitor of Talabat, for an undisclosed amount. According to Crunchbase, Carriage had raised $1.3 million in seed funding in 2015 at an unknown valuation.
Kuwait’s Chocolateness started in 2007 as an experiment, before reaching over 100,000 unique paying customers since January 2009 with only in-home-delivery service, according to their website.
These success stories have had a positive effect on Kuwaiti youth and students and pushed them to become entrepreneurs and start new ventures.
In this article, we are going to give a brief summary of five startups that were founded by college entrepreneurs in Kuwait.
Baims is an online marketplace for Arabic educational content launched in September 2016 by Bader Al Rasheed and Yousef Al Husaini. The two were in their second year in the College of Engineering and Petroleum.
It started by providing online courses for graphics and design, and then turned to providing online academic courses for Kuwait University.
Baims operates in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and has reached 15,000 users in less than a year, according to cofounder Al Rasheed.
Waterworks is a service launched in October 2016 to provide washing and cleaning services for cars. Their service can be offered at a time and location set by the customer. Clients can make their reservations by either contacting them on mobile or through Whatsapp.
The idea started as a university club activity by the cofounder Ahmad Al Nafisi, who used to bring a washing service company to the campus and get feedback on the service from students. This has motivated him to start his own business. Waterworks has been operating for eight months now and serving more than 50 clients a month, according to Al Nafisi.
3. Ez Store
Ez Store is an online store that features and sells different products for consumers. In 2013, Mohammed Buabbas, an engineering student at the time, decided to launch an Instagram account under the name Ez Designs to focus on selling t-shirts and mobile cases. The idea then shifted to providing other products and design services and the branding changed to Ez Store.
Ez Store has been operating for four years now, with more than 500 products sold and with plans to expand to the GCC region, according to Buabbas.
Chocolateness is a sweet and chocolate shop that was launched in 2007 by four college students: Rakan Al Fadhalah, Abdulwahab Al Humaizi, Jassim Al Humaizi and Abdullateef Al Humaizi.
Their first signature product was the molten cakes which gained a lot of popularity during university exhibitions In 2010, Chocolateness was officially registered as a company. Chocolateness has five branches over Kuwait and more than 100 employees, according to a previous interview with Nuwait.
Trolley is a convenience store launched in 2010 by two brothers, Faisal and Mohammad Boodai, along with their cousin Mishari Bodai, during their studies at Gust University. Later on, it expanded to ACK, AUM, the Avenues and a number of gas stations.
In 2016, Trolley signed a deal with Starbucks to offer its coffee inside Trolley. It now has 16 stores in Kuwait with one more opening soon, according to their website.