Ecosystem News

LinkedIn unveils first UAE Top Startups list 2021


Fuelled by LinkedIn data and produced by the LinkedIn News team, the Top Startups List globally is an annual ranking of the emerging startups to watch out for – and work for

Dubai – LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, announced its 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups list, identifying the top 10 startups in the UAE. Fuelled by LinkedIn data and produced by the LinkedIn News team, the Top Startups List globally is an annual ranking of the emerging startups to watch out for – and work for.

In its inaugural year, the UAE’s list shines a spotlight on the country’s emerging startups through employing a four pillar methodology that measures employment growth, engagement, job interest and talent attraction. It showcases startups that are effectively navigating the evolution of consumer and business needs in the post-pandemic landscape. Many are paving the way through the Great Reshuffle – a phrase coined by LinkedIn to signify the moment of unprecedented change where employers and employees are rethinking how and why we work.

Our leading startups are exploring new frontiers in technology, responding to consumers’ increasing demand for connection, and helping accelerate business growth and success. Almost all the companies are currently hiring and embracing the flexibility workers want now.

Commenting on the list, Salma Altantawy, MENA News Editor at LinkedIn said, “Startups are a natural place to look to for cutting edge innovation in how we are approaching the future of work, and LinkedIn’s Top Startups list is the place to find the startups you should be paying attention to.”

She added, “UAE’s startups are innovative and robust, and they play a big role in shaping the country’s thriving SME ecosystem. Although we remain in a state of economic recovery, it’s important that we acknowledge the companies that have made an impact in their field amid global uncertainty, while continuing to be an employer of choice to their teams.”

Key trends from this year’s Top Startups list include:

  • Convenience is key: Startups are offering easy-to-use apps that have redefined convenience in the country; CAFU (#1) will deliver fuel to your car at your convenience and Hello Chef (#5) deliver weekly recipes with the box of exact ingredients to your door.
  • Money talks: Startups such as Pyypl (#7), a globally accepted digital alternative for a credit card, and YAP (#8) a digital banking company that helps users manage money through mobile is revolutionizing money management for users. Sehteq (#9), a low-cost digital health insurance company covers close to half a million consumers in the UAE.
  • Innovation for a greener tomorrow: Through innovation and technology, small companies are able to make a big impact on the fate of our planet. Yellow Door Energy (#4) is paving the way in sustainable energy, as their energy efficiency solutions enable businesses to reduce energy costs, improve power reliability and lower carbon emissions. Another company providing sustainable solutions and reduced waste is Kitopi (#2), a leading cloud kitchen platform that enables restaurants to open delivery-only locations by providing the necessary infrastructure and software.


Here are the top 10 companies on the list:

  • CAFU
  • Kitopi
  • Inspire Integrated Services
  • Yellow Door Energy
  • Hello Chef
  • Swan
  • Pyypl
  • YAP
  • Sehteq
  • Swvl

LinkedIn Top Startups List Methodology

The Top Startups list is part of the LinkedIn List franchise, an ongoing editorial series that celebrates professionals and companies making an impact in the professional world. To be eligible for the UAE Top Startups list, a startup is defined as a company that is independent and privately held, has 30 or more employees, is eight years old or younger, and is headquartered in the country on whose list they appear.

LinkedIn evaluated key factors for ranking including interest in the company, employment growth, engagement with employees, job interest and ability to attract talent from the LinkedIn Top Companies list. The timeline measured was January through July 2021.

Top Startups is a global list that includes rankings for Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pan-Europe, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S. LinkedIn Lists are fuelled by exclusive LinkedIn data mapping the professional landscape from LinkedIn’s global news team. 

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 774 million members and has offices around the globe.

For more information, please contact:

Jashmeh Bhagwagar

APCO Worldwide