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Yela Secures Over $2M To Connect Fans & Celebrities Via Video Messages

Yela gives you access to personalized video messages from your favorite A-list celebrities from around the MENA region.

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yela secures over $2 million to connect fans and celebrities via video messages
Yela

Yela, a platform that aims to connect fans and celebrities via personalized video messages, has secured $2.2 million from global investors to support its launch in its first pre-seed round of funding.

The list of investors includes Justin Mateen (co-founder of Tinder), Sean Rad (co-founder of Tinder), and Razmig Hovaghimian (a board member at Rakuten). The creators of the platform, Alex Eid and Marc Dakroub, claim that they’ve been able to secure the backing of such high-profile investors by offering exclusive access to A-list celebrities, including Amr Diab, Haifa Wehbe, Youssra, Ahmed El Sakka, Mohamed Henedy, Chico, Ghada Addel, Amr Youssef, and Mostafa Shaban, just to give a few examples.

Yela differs from its main competition, American video-sharing website Cameo, by targeting the MENA and South Asia market, whose population is relatively young and tech savvy.

“We’re differentiated in the region we cover, the type of creators we are onboarding, and the audience we are targeting,” said Yela CEO Alex Eid. “Also, the team is made up of second- and third-time venture backed entrepreneurs, with a passion for the product.”

Also Read: Anghami Lab Venue To Bridge Digital And Traditional Entertainment

Because Yela is currently in private beta, users are required to join a waiting list to get early access and unlock rewards. The first 5,000 users were able to secure priority access to the platform and get $100 worth of credits as a bonus. Now, up to 10,000 users can get only $40 worth of bonus credits. Supported payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and PayPal.

Platforms like Yela can be seen as products of the ongoing monetization of human interactions, which has been made possible by the internet and online payment methods. Their usage has increased significantly during lockdowns, likely as a result of people craving social interactions and being more willing to pay for them.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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