While fellow GCC nations Saudia Arabia and the UAE have received most of the media attention and investment interest, as part of the massive digital transformation and innovation drive sweeping across the Middle East, Oman’s start-ups are now steadily making their claim on the regional stage and getting the recognition due to them.

As Oman’s colourful start-up ecosystem grows, the country’s unique offering of robust tech, solutions to unique customer problems, and traditionally influenced focus on customer service and experience, help differentiate it from those of its regional counterparts.

In our series ‘Unique Tech Start-Ups from Oman’, we explore some of the most interesting start-ups from the country, who exemplify this ethos. Here, in our first post from the series, we highlight three of our favourite picks: eBinaa, iON Basket, and SERB. They’re the first in the country in their respective areas, and they continue to disrupt norms, reshape industries, and solidify Oman’s key role in the region’s innovation landscape.

1. eBinaa

Founded in 2019
Industry – Design and construction

Arguably Oman’s first tech start-up in the design and construction space, eBinaa is transforming the way first-time homebuilders and young families build custom houses with their convenient platform that connects clients, contractors, and design consultants.

They’re fast gaining in popularity by removing traditional design and build headaches such as challenges in coordinating different stakeholders; lack of trust and transparency; plus, issues such as cost overruns, delays, and compromises in quality.

The platform provides great flexibility to those looking to build a home, with a pool of contractors that they can select from, each with their own ratings based on reviews. Equally, contractors can bid on projects and secure contracts, while consultants too are provided with a platform to offer their expertise in designing and planning homes.

Bringing all relevant stakeholders onto a single platform to collaborate on custom house projects, the application is fast becoming the preferred option for Omanis seeking a simple, efficient design and construction experience.

EBinaa has progressively released enhanced versions of its web application, since its MVP release in 2019, and has a growing client userbase together with some of Oman’s top contractors and consultants onboard. As it continues to evolve, eBinaa has further captured the public’s attention by unveiling some of its latest innovations and features to keen audiences at design and construction shows like IDF Oman.

Their passion to continuously simplify the user experience across their platform for all stakeholders sees them in a strong position to capitalize on their rebrand and rebuild effort in 2022 as a global solution, with neighbouring MENA theirs for the taking.

2. iON Basket

Founded in – 2021
Industry – Social commerce, e-commerce

A forerunner in the social commerce space in the country, iON Basket’s e-commerce platform is starting to propel the businesses of many of Oman’s online sellers through its simple, practical technological offering.

iON Basket offers single-click checkout experiences for buyers across different social media channels, so customers can checkout straight from a post, purchase via direct messaging (using a link) or via a customized webstore.

Since its inception in 2021, the start-up’s unique offering has drawn the interest of potential collaborators in areas ranging from logistics to finance, allowing iON Basket to enter strategic partnerships with the likes of Atyab Food Industries, Salalah Logistics, OTAXI, and fintech giants Mamun.

Not resting on their laurels and constantly innovating their technological offering and direction, they’re currently a part of the second cohort of Omantel Accelerator (run by Omantel Innovation Labs) and also came in 3rd after reaching the top 10 of the ITHCA Group Pitch Battle for Startups at COMEX 2023.

As they grow, the e-commerce landscape in Oman is taking shape in an interesting way, which the region will closely watch, with scalability being effortless due to iON Basket’s strong, versatile tech foundation.

3. SERB (formely AirGo)

Founded – 2020
Industry – Aviation and Aero Space, drone operations

Recently rebranding as SERB from AirGo to better reflect their current stature and growth trajectory, the start-up is the country’s first platform-as-a-service offering safe passage to drone operations of businesses, government institutions, and the like.

Their Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform has received regional acclaim with their unique offering of low-altitude drone operations enablement plus guidance on marking out the permitted flying zones plus restricted areas. Ebinaa

SERB helps a range of clients overcome challenges such as the operational risks, strict regulatory needs, and large capital expenses generally associated with securing permits and routes for drone operations, allowing them to pilot drones legally, safely, and profitably.

Their prospects for regional expansion received a heavy boost earlier this year when participating in LEAP23, with SERB drawing the interest of Saudi VC company ‘Forming Future’, with an investment agreement for $2.7 Million. This facilitated their entry into Saudia Arabia, one of the biggest regional markets, and will ensure the Omani start-up’s ascent in the drone industry continues.