Cairo-based mobility risk assessment startup, BlinkApp, has raised a six-figure Pre-Seed round, led by investors located in UAE and KSA.
BlinkApp aspire to have its technology installed on smartphones with the main vision of achieving better general driving behavior, faster roadside assistance and safer roads for everyone.
Mr. Noufal, the co-founder and CEO of BlinkApp, said that the real edge of BlinkApp is that it’s a full platform that can work as stand-alone or integrate with other apps. Not only that, but also most of the processing is based on edge computing, not cloud computing, which saves a lot of time and money for BlinkApp customers. In addition, BlinkApp offers the customers very competitive subscription fees while enjoying high quality and performance.
Mr. Noufal said that they already contracted with one of the biggest insurance companies in Egypt, gig-Egypt, which makes it the first Egyptian insurance company to utilize the smartphone and AI technology. They are eagerly anticipating to announce the campaign together within weeks.
By 2025, BlinkApp aims to onboard 6 million users and reach $5 million GMV transactions from B2C & B2B sectors excluding individuals, insurance companies and fleet owners. BlinkApp expected revenue $19.8M in 2025.
Founded in 2017 by Mr. Noufal and Prof. El-Mahdy, BlinkApp brought science, technology, and business together to bring a cutting-edge mobile solution to life. Based on artificial intelligent, BlinkApp saves people’s lives and minimizes the driving behavior risk impact on vehicle and accidents. Whether the customers are an insurance company, a fleet owner or simply an individual who wants to be safe on the road, BlinkApp will support them. BlinkApp captures and analyzes thousands of miles of data, using smartphone’s sensors and AI technology, to monitor drivers’ behavior, detect collisions, and generate insightful reports to guide and assist customers.
In 2017, BlinkApp was selected as a first-place winner among the 79 finalists who competed for the ideas track in MIT-Pan Arab competition that was held in Manamah, Bahrain, where it was awarded $15,000.
The story started when Mr. Noufal had a car accident in Egypt by the end of 2013. At that critical moment, he couldn’t find his mobile and even when he did, he didn’t remember any emergency numbers to ask for help. That’s when it all started. Mr. Noufal initiated discussions with his partner Prof. Ahmed El-Mahdy about how to protect others from living this fearful experience. Triggered by the motivation to help others, Mr. Noufal started his research that resulted in BlinkApp. Through ITIDA’s (Information Technology Industry Development Agency) research fund and with the help of a highly skilled team, BlinkApp came to light. The team succeeded in developing a new methodology for accident and driver behavior detection using smartphones – a technology that can literally save lives!
BlinkApp already raised two zero-equity grants before, with around $210k, from ITIDA through ITAC program to develop research in corporation with Egypt Japan University for science and technology (EJUST). BlinkApp and EJUST registered and filed two patents.
After years of R&D and testing, finally BlinkApp team announced to launch BlinkApp on RiseUp summit 19.
It is the third participation on RiseUp after 206,2018 and this is the third on 2019.
RiseUp Summit is the MENA region’s largest innovation and entrepreneurship summit, taking place in the heart of Downtown Cairo annually.
RiseUp Summit is an annual entrepreneurship and innovation event that takes place in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. It has been described as “one of the largest gatherings of entrepreneurs in the region”. It started in 2013 to bring the MENA region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem together The summit is a three-day, entrepreneurship marathon. The first RiseUp Summit occurred in 2013.
Championing the ideas track was BlinkApp, an application that aims to tackle road safety and decrease traffic fatalities. The Founders believe that your cellphone could actually save your life. “Reducing first response times can decrease road deaths by 33 percent,” as they explain.
BlinkApp was awarded $15,000 and plans to use the earnings and networking contacts to bring BlinkApp to the next level. But MIT Enterprise Forum win was more than just a financial gain; BlinkApp already been approached by foreign governments, significant investors, and a major US-based car company.
MIT’s Enterprise Forum Arab startup competition is our region’s annual search for the brightest minds in business and innovation. After nearly four months of judging and deliberation, the competition came to a close last Thursday, April 27th, where 79 finalists competed for the three main categories.
MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab is part of a global network of chapters dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. We inform, connect, and coach early-stage technology entrepreneurs—enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies.
Founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Arab World, we aim to celebrate and support all potential startups and entrepreneurs in the Pan Arab Region through our programs.
BlinkApp successfully selected to be funded from Information Technology Academia Collaboration Program (ITAC) under IT Industry development Agency (ITIDA) Egypt. collaborative funded project helping the industries to develop projects in collaboration with the academia research centers as a R&D arm form the companies. BlinkApp & Egypt Japan University for Science and Technology (EJUST) agreed to apply for ITAC program on 2014 and win the first grant on march 2015 to start the prototype of the project. The project funded with $90,000 and completed at the end of 2016. BlinkApp and EJUST applied again for ITAC to start the second grand on 2018 and completed the full product by the start of 2020 with a fund of $120,000. ITIDA and EJUST helped BlinkApp to bring the idea to prototype and then to the final product and we shall bring the full thankful for both of them.
Collaborative Funded Projects, one of ITAC’s programs, move a product concept out of the ideas shed, through the proof-of-concept and prototyping stages, until it turns into a complete product ready to hit the market.
Opening and closing points of each project can be defined as follows:
Proof-of-concept is the solid work published by the applicants in a journal, a patent owned by the applicants, or promising preliminary results of the proposed research or methodology.
Prototype is a working but not necessarily complete product. It may still need additional research for improving its output, lack some features, or need customization for specific applications.
Final product should satisfy all specifications of a commercial product and should be ready to bring to market by the end of PDP period.
IT Academia Collaboration finances three categories of collaborative funded projects, CFPs: product development projects (PDP), advanced research projects (ARP) and preliminary research projects (PRP).
The research component, a key element within these projects, requires synergy between the ICT industry partners and the Egyptian IT universities or research institutes. The roles of the academic principal investigator (also known as PI) and the industrial partner (IP) should be clearly defined in the proposals submitted by applicants.
ITAC Project Objectives:
- Unlock research potential in local universities and tech institutes
- Develop research capabilities in research centers within companies
- Create innovative, yet competitive products for both society and marketplace
- Connect scientific research institutes with industry entities
- Boost the national income
ITAC beneficiaries include local ICT enterprises, universities and research centers.
Collaborative funded projects, CFPs, conducted between companies and research bodies:
- Preliminary research project; starts as an idea and ends at a proof-of-concept. PRPs receive funding up to EGP 250,000
- Advanced research project; is the progress of proof-of-concept into a prototype. ARPs get a funding amounted at EGP 1,500,000 (a partial reimbursement)
- Product development project; develops a prototype into a product. The funding of PDPs is up to EGP 2,500,000 (a partial reimbursement)
- Staring from round# 28, the ITAC program is announcing that ICT companies can apply for PDP fund solely without academic partner upon the fulfillment of the following conditions:
- The prototype was developed by the company R&D team
- The prototype has an innovation that can be patented or published
- The company has a research team that is capable of filling in the research institutes role within the submitted project.
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) is a research university with an ambition to cultivate an academic environment and become a benchmark for the Egyptian and African countries in education. It was first established as a bilateral agreement project between the Egyptian and Japanese governments in May 2009 and later in 2010 it was ready to accept its first batch of students and make the dream a reality.
There is a strong relationship between both governments where they both divide the cooperation cohesively to ensure positive results. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) fully supports EJUST by sending their administrative and academic experts to assist and guide in the technical and managerial system of the university, as well as sending academic experts from the Japanese Supporting University Consortium (JSUC) to support in teaching, conducting joint research and co-supervising graduate students. Additionally, they provide state-of-the-art machinery, equipment and tools for research purposes. The Egyptian government fully runs and financially supports the university, which is managed by Egyptian members from both the academic and administrative staff.
All decisions that govern the university are made through its Board of Trustees (BOT) which is composed of 15 prominent figures from Egypt and Japan. They represent stakeholders from the government, as well as members from the academic field and industry from both countries.