Start-up of the Week: QiDZ

Rupkatha Bhowmick

With schools in the UAE going on a four-week holiday, could there have been a better time to talk about QiDZ? It is an app that curates the best and most friendly activities for children.

Incepted in Dubai in 2017, QiDZ is a digital, one-stop destination for parents to find family and kid-related fun, education and entertainment in the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It is a free mobile app developed to help parents get inspired and plan fun activities.

Co-founded by five mothers – Claudia Ribas, Ines Mena, Nourhan Hassan, Simona Agolini and Therese Hundt – the QiDZ team understands the importance of finding a new playground, a new activity and even a new kid-friendly café and sharing the information on a single platform. Co-founder and CEO, Agolini explains QiDZ’s uniqueness, scalability and future growth plans.

QiDZ co-founders: Claudia Ribas, Ines Mena, Nourhan Hassan, Simona Agolini and Therese Hundt

How has QiDZ resonated with the market?

We launched QiDZ as an app with listings, basically a minimum viable proposition. Soon we started gaining traction, which helped us to record significant month-on-month growth. Currently, QiDZ reaches more than 300,000 families in the region. While parents have accepted QiDZ quite well as their go-to app to check out fun activities, we have achieved significant commercial success too. We have built strong relationships with leading entertainment brands in the UAE, such as Emaar Entertainment as well as specialist brands like Oli Oli and Velocity, to name a few. From community parks to places of cultural heritage, from cafés and restaurants to shopping malls, we have built a robust roster of partners. Additionally, we have implemented strategic partnerships with e-commerce marketplace for mothers and babies like Spii.com.

How often do you update the app?

Being highly customer-centric brand, we are always interacting with customers and constantly innovating the app to respond to their needs. The information on the app is accurate and updated in real-time. This involves having a strong technology and analytics team to rapidly deploy, test and implement new features to meet the evolving customer needs.

What is the revenue model?

We have built a couple of different revenue models – based on advertising and commission. The user gets access to better deals without having to pay. However, we charge the vendors as they are able to reach a wide enough target audience.

Could you tell us about QiDZ’s funding journey?

Initially, all of us – the co-founders – put in our funds together to kickstart the business. We bootstrapped for almost a year and half of launching QiDZ. Then we successfully raised $1 million in a SEED round in November 2019. This was one of the largest SEED rounds raised in the UAE last year. Going forward, we are keen to do another funding round in the next couple of years to support further expansion across the GCC.

What does the future look like for QiDZ?

We have already seen a lot of traction and received a lot of love from our users. Our goal is to strengthen our audience by offering them accurate and up-to-date information and best activities for children. We are keen to enhance our capabilities as a go-to app with a holistic approach – from browsing to buying.

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