Let’s be honest, startups in Iraq just don’t get enough media coverage. So you probably didn’t know that there was one startup, let alone ten. A lack of payment options, basic infrastructure, and business registration difficulties do not make it an easy environment for startups to thrive. But regardless of the challenges, they are growing and navigating a complex ecosystem. And this deserves our attention.
Check out these tech-enabled startups in Iraq leading the country’s digital revolution.
With a focus on B2B, Sandoog is a technology logistics company based in Baghdad. Sandoog provides a first of its kind, on-demand delivery service nationwide, including product handling, storage, and payment processing.
Launched in 2014, Miswag became the first e-commerce platform in Iraq. Equipped with an inventory of over 15,000 products, the startup has a strong focus on great quality products and delivers all over the country.
Based in Sulymaniya, Brsima is a food delivery startup in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Raving reviews from local restaurants praise the app’s easy-to-use interface and delivery updates. The startup has also expanded its operation to Erbil.
This Syrian startup operates from Erbil but has a team spread across the world. Shiffer is a platform connecting travelers with people who need items delivered to other countries. The startup offers an affordable alternative to the likes of DHL with a target market of displaced Syrians. See their startup timeline here.
Helping people avoid carrying heavy groceries and crazy traffic, Erbil Delivery is an app that allows users to order groceries straight to their door within one hour. New items are added regularly to the app as the team expands their inventory. Plans for expansion to other cities are also in talks.
Talabatey is a food delivery app that operates in Iraq, Sudan, and Syria. The app boasts over 1000 restaurants with special offers and discounts, and has 3.5 million downloads.
After liberation from ISIS in 2017, Dakakenna was introduced to the Mosul market as a solution to the lack of safety travelling within the city. The platform lets users order a range of items, including electronics and books. Their delivery service reaches the furthest and most inaccessible parts of Iraq’s second largest city.
Medresty is a Baghdad-based school management system with a social mission of increasing the level of education provided in Iraqi schools. The app allows teachers and parents to communicate with each other and receive updates on students, such as their homework and grades.
Fastwares is a software development startup centred in Erbil that has given birth to multiple products. From food delivery Lezzooeats to the popular game Kawa & Khaje inspired by Kurdish culture, the startup is also in the process of launching Awaza — a Kurdish music streaming app.
As one of the first grocery delivery platforms in Iraq, Mishwar operates in Baghdad and delivers a wide range of groceries across the capital.
Iraq’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem has multiple opportunities for startups to create advanced technical products. Each city has its own solutions that tackle similar problems, with potential for the strongest players to acquire competitors in other cities as they scale. With further investment and more incubators, the country can accelerate its growth in the technology sector and give birth to more tech-enabled startups.
Want to know about more Iraqi startups? Read “Wait! There’s Another 8 Startups in Iraq You Need to Know About”.