How Crowdfunding Has Evolved In the Arab World


Kiva is often credited with the start of the modern crowdfunding trend, providing micro-loans through collateral solicited from crowdfunding to help small businesses around the world. Kickstarter has been around since 2009 and Indiegogo came soon after. With over a decade of experience, the fact that the Arab world didn’t see crowdfunding take off until 2012 seems almost shocking. Yet in just a few years, this method of raising money has evolved into something incredible.

Here are just a few examples of how the Arab region has been able to benefit from this capital raising idea.

1. Aflamnah

Aflamnah is the first crowdfunded platform in the region. It was launched initially to help those in the independent film industry to get funding for their productions. Launched in July 2012, it has now expanded to include most creative projects.

2. Zoomaal

This platform was started in February 2012 by a Lebanese entrepreneur and it encompasses all projects like Indiegogo. It’s unique in the fact that it helps campaigns keep the amounts that are raised within their required amounts.

3. Eureeca

This Dubai-based platform focused on crowd investing before anyone else. With investors that stretch from Lebanon to Japan, it is the perfect tool for small businesses within the Arab region to raise funds in return for real equity.

4. Yonken

This crowdfunding platform focuses primarily on social projects. It targets students and designers who are connected to the Arab region, but are living elsewhere in the world. Their focus is on industrial innovation and new ideas and then the best ideas get promoted for crowdfunding.

5. Shekra

This primarily Egyptian crowdfunding platform has all of the usual tools one would expect to see on a site like Kickstarter, but with one unique twist. They help entrepreneurs find ways to pitch their ideas to Angel investors and actively promote each project on social media. There is also legal and technical help provided for startups and investors.

Crowdfunding is taking the world by storm. The Arab region has placed its innovative stamp of approval on the mechanism. Now only time will tell how the encouraged evolution will change the way businesses raise money in the future.