Four of Qatar’s most tech-forward startups using new technology to create innovative digital services are the latest recipients of the Product Development Fund (PDF), which was awarded by Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), at a ceremony recently held at QSTP.
The QSTP PDF is a subsidy-grant that assists and encourages Qatar-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups to develop innovative products or services relevant to the needs of the local market. The funding is granted for up to a year with the aim of increasing the engagement of Qatar’s private sector SMEs and startups in product development within four priority industries.
The newest PDF funding were received by Noora al-Marri, co-founder and project manager of Digital Pulse, who received the PDF for Gooby; Saleh Mubarak al-Mansouri, CEO and co-founder of MaktApp QSTP-LLC for Fatora.io; Moustafa Mohamed M A al-Sayrafi, co-founder of Cwallet Services, for Cwallet; and Fahad Alboinin, co-founder of ITHRAA for Information Technology, for their project Masader.
Fatora.io, developed by MaktApp QSTP-LLC, is a secure online payment solution for large entities, SMEs, and startups that need an easy and fast method to collect payments online.
Fatora offers companies a tool to create online invoices, send it to their customers, and collect payments faster and with less effort, helping to increase sales and accelerate their growth and development. They have also added an AI engine, which helps to detect fraud in online payments.
Fintech platform, Cwallet, has a vision to become a premier financial technology (Fintech) influencer that digitally empowers and enables individuals in the region. Promoting a cashless society and financial inclusion, Cwallet uses Fintech to provide services and solutions to low-income and unbanked migrant workers, domestic helpers and blue-collar workers that allow them to access financial services currently unavailable to them.
Gooby, founded in 2019 by Raghad Akram, Noora al-Marri, and Taimaa Janat, is geared towards helping startups or SMEs gain access to quality and cost-effective freelance services, making it easier for their clients to connect with freelancers around the globe. Gooby also helps provide access to niche users who require on-site services and to users who require both online and on-site services.
Masader is a multilingual Internet platform aimed at providing reliable sources and references to help researchers, educational institutions, and individuals directly access materials from key knowledge resources. Masader is a unique tool created with an advanced search engine.
Assessed by QSTP and QF RDI experts for their business viability and opportunity, the four PDF beneficiaries have each come up with innovative digital solutions to meet a range of market needs. Each business will receive up to QR1.2mn to fund up to 50% of the cost of their product or service proposal.
Aysha al-Hammadi, director of Product Development and Grant Management Fund at QSTP, said: “Our Product Development Fund is one of the ways QSTP accelerates the development of new high-tech products and services which in turn has a cascading effect on the local market and an overall positive economic impact.”
Targeting Qatar-based startups working in the priority industries of energy, environment, healthcare, and ICT, the PDF has funded almost 23 SMEs and startups since its launch in 2016, supporting the development of new, tech-rich products, or accelerating the development of existing products or services.