We’re excited to announce that joi, under its parent company enhance, is a winner of the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Asia, a globally recognized award given to Asia’s most promising private technology ventures.
In The Face Of Tough Competition
Whilst the global arena for start-ups continues to grow, there is undoubtedly an extra level of excitement in the Asian marketplace. We are seeing unprecedented levels of innovation. Globalization, education, investment, politics and even conflicts have opened up the possibilities and determination of this region, with fantastic and laudable results across multiple mediums and platforms. Just being nominated was such an achievement, especially given the stiff competition from over 2000 applicants. At the same time, we were fairly confident that enhance would be able to stand out from the crowd.
The unique ethos and business model of enhance was clearly a huge factor in its evaluation by the Red Herring team. As its name suggests, the ultimate goal of the company is to fill service gaps in the region and improve, or ‘enhance’, the quality of online services available to consumers. Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Alper Celen and Ritesh Tilani, enhance has a dual approach, first in building new businesses from the ground up, such as joi, and secondly in working to introduce internationally renowned mature brands into the local markets, such as with Medigo, the world’s leading medical travel platform, funded by top investors such as Accel Partners and LVMH. In both cases, the needs of the market are paramount and each brand is selected to add value to the lives of the consumer.
As well as being selected as one of the final Top 100 Asia Winners, joi was one of only three start-ups that came from the Middle East deemed outstanding enough by Red Herring. Alongside our friends at Mini Exchange and The Luxury Closet, joi couldn’t be prouder to fly the flag for innovation and ambition in the UAE.
A Disruptive Attitude
Red Herring focuses its evaluations on the standing and track record of the company; priding itself on seeing past the ‘buzz’ to the actual benefits and potential of an organisation. In line with previous winners from around the world such as Alibaba, Baidu, InMobi, Kakao, Rakuten, Snapdeal, Xiaomi, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce.com, YouTube and many others, the team strives to find those with the vision to make a difference and rise above the competition. From the very beginning enhance has flaunted its disruptive style, imparted by the refreshing outlook of its founders. Both Celen and Tilani have always been keen to fill market gaps in the Middle East by disrupting the status quo to offer original and creative online solutions; with enhance, this mission is being furthered.
Investing In The Future
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for this unique business model to attract significant investment, something which didn’t go unnoticed by the Red Herring judges. The calibre of the concept broached by this ex-management consultant team, was quickly recognised by some of the leading angel investors from the Middle East and Europe. enhance was also subsequently picked up by 500 Startups, a leading institutional investor from Silicon Valley and one of the largest early-stage VCs globally.
What Red Herring Had To Say
“In 2016, selecting the top achievers was difficult as always,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “The variety, depth, disruption and traction we saw from the early stage companies to those with significant scale made 2016 a great vintage to judge. The Asia winners are representative of the amazing ecosystem that never ceases to astound, with new and experienced entrepreneurs continuing to push the barriers of innovation. As one of the winners, enhance should be proud of its accomplishment.”