Dubai technology start-up Arrow Labs raises $5m amid expansion push

Funding round is led by California-based Draper Associates, one of the company’s first investments in the Mena region

Rami Darwish, founder and chief executive of Arrow Labs, says the new funds will be used to accelerate the company’s growth into new markets. Courtesy Arrow Labs
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Arrow Labs, a Dubai-based technology start-up that helps businesses automate traditional processes, raised $5 million in its latest investment round, which was led by California-based venture capital fund Draper Associates.

The funding round also included participation from Dubai-based investor Global Ventures and Beirut-based B&Y Ventures Partners, which specialises in investment in early-stage technology start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Arrow Labs’ technology has really caught my eye, they have built the solution the world needs
Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates

The funds will be used by the company to accelerate its growth into new markets such as the US, UK, mainland Europe and Southeast Asia, said Rami Darwish, founder and chief executive of the company.

“It will enhance the development of the MIMS [Mobile Information Management System] platform’s machine-learning capabilities … and help build innovative capabilities in new geographies, further investing in AI [Artificial Intelligence] capabilities and bringing innovative solutions to the wider deskless worker market,” Mr Darwish told The National.

Arrow Lab’s core product is a software-as-a-service platform, MIMS, which unifies front line workers that are usually away from desks.

Accessed by mobile app, web and wearables, MIMS connects employees, machines and facilities to ensure a smooth workflow. It reduces operating costs by 20 per cent, increases staff productivity by 30 per cent and business efficiency by 40 per cent, the company said.

“Securing such strong financial support and backing from investors such as Tim Draper is transformative for our business … [it will] accelerate our journey to connect the 80 per cent of the global workforce that is deskless … we are ideally positioned to grow rapidly,” Mr Darwish said.

In 2018, Arrow Labs completed a seed funding round of $3m — led by Global Ventures and other private investors.

The investment by Draper, founded by billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, is one of the company’s first in the Mena region. Other investments by Draper to date include Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter.

“For many years, investment in critical remote working tools has focused almost exclusively on office-based staff. This has caused front line workers to become disconnected,” Mr Draper said.

“Arrow Labs’ technology has really caught my eye. They have built the solution the world needs, which is already being used by some of the biggest global brands,” he said.

The company’s MIMS platform aims to make deskless work more productive for millions of front-line workers who are yet to be empowered with technology. By bringing machine learning capabilities to the front line, MIMS removes the complexity of scheduling, work distribution, recourse management and workflow automation.

“[Arrow Labs] has been a leading player and innovator in its space, addressing a critical and global challenge in workforce management,” said Noor Sweid, general partner at Global Ventures.

“We are strong supporters of reverse innovation and emerging market founders building cutting-edge technology with both regional and global potential … we are thrilled to be a part of the next chapter of Arrow Labs.”

Founded in 2011, Arrow Labs also operates a subsidiary in the US to focus on its North American clients, especially in the oil and gas and logistics sectors. Most of its clients come from industries such as facility management, hospitality, security and transport.

“Most of the innovation globally has been aimed at improving desk and office work resulting in field work being largely overlooked. Arrow Labs solves the disconnect between the deskless workers and the back office, and is on a mission to transform the way businesses manage field resources,” Abdallah Yafi, managing partner at B&Y Ventures, said.

“[They] can build a category leading business in this space, thanks to an extremely intelligent platform, flawless execution and strong focus on delivering profitable growth.”

Updated: July 29, 2021, 5:51 PM