Founded in 2019 by Lebanese entrepreneur Nadim Alameddine, Wafeq is a Dubai-based SaaS platform that provides finance and accounting tools for small and medium businesses in the Middle East.
Nadim first noticed a market gap and potential opportunity back in 2018, when the UAE government announced the introduced VAT.
“I had to set up the accounting framework for my first startup on my own to be able to file the VAT returns. I realized there is no strong, localized accounting software brand for our region like in other mature markets […] I researched the opportunity further, and it became clear that the market for it will be very large. That’s when I decided to launch Wafeq,” says Nadim Alameddine, Wafeq founder.
However, despite Wafeq’s successes, over three years of development were needed before the company launched its first product at the end of 2022.
Alameddine’s business idea seems to have been a wise one, with demand for accounting software growing exponentially across the MENA region. Legacy platforms are struggling to keep up with numerous regulation changes in accounting, while Wafeq, on the other hand, is uniquely poised to meet the needs of modern businesses, with features such as e-invoicing, which are becoming a legal obligation in some jurisdictions.
Wafeq is currently working to meet the tax requirements of authorities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt — some of the Arab world’s largest economies. Wafeq was initially bootstrapped using the founder’s own capital, though it has now raised $3 million in a January funding round. Riyadh venture capital firm Raed Ventures led the investment round with the participation of Wamda, a platform of programs and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across MENA.
The startup is in no hurry to raise new capital, and Nadim Alameddine has no plans to exit the business, instead intending to establish strong long-term foundations. According to the company, businesses using Wafeq generate over 630,000 invoices monthly, exceeding $117 million in value.
LEAP 2024 Will Shine A Light On Female Innovators In Technology
Women comprise nearly a third of the event’s speaker lineup alongside a dedicated program of high-level content, investment, and mentorship.
LEAP 2024, a premier global technology event, will highlight the achievements of women in the technology sector as it returns for its third edition at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Malham district from March 4 to 7.
Hosted by Tahaluf, a strategic collaboration between Informa PLC, the Events Investment Fund (EIF), and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP), LEAP 2024 will feature a dedicated program titled “Women in Tech”. The program will offer enriching content, investment opportunities, networking sessions, mentorship programs, and a special startup award.
The initiative aims to inspire women to actively participate in the technology industry, aligning with broader diversity efforts. Reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to equality, the focus on “Women in Tech” coincides with the increasing female participation at LEAP events.
Annabelle Mander, Senior Vice President of Tahaluf, emphasized the event’s commitment to gender inclusivity, stating, “Female representation is across all of LEAP’s features and reflects the event’s mission of driving economic diversification and providing market access to international business. Within Tahaluf itself, half of our team members are women, and women make up half of our SMT, too”.
The “Women in Tech” program will feature distinguished speakers including Nadine Hachach Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie, and Sahar Albanarna from IMPACTIQUE Bahrain, who explained: “Over 26 million women worldwide with professional experience and degrees are not in the global workplace. This demographic includes a huge pool of untapped talent which technology can help unleash to fuel the co-creation of exponential solutions across multiple sectors. To help women access productive employment, we urge industry leaders to support high-impact female entrepreneurs as a means to boost their economies and accelerate the UN’s sustainable development goals by promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth”.
The event will also provide a platform for female-led startups and entrepreneurs to pitch for funding and support through various initiatives such as the Women’s Investor Forum, Entrepreneur Mentorship Scheme, and the Aviatrix Award at the Rocket Fuel pitch competition, offering a prize fund of US$150,000.