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Thu 12 Sep 2019 10:56 AM

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Cisco acquires Dubai-based AI start-up Wrappup

AI voice-to-text note-taking start-up represented the UAE last year at the annual Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Cisco acquires Dubai-based AI start-up Wrappup
Wrappup (Voicea) represented the UAE last year at the annual Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), which is hosted by global peer-to-peer network Entrepreneurship Organisation (EO).

Dubai-based AI voice-to-text note-taking start-up Wrappup, was acquired by Voicea last year, has now been bought by tech giants Cisco.

Wrappup (Voicea) represented the UAE last year at the annual Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), which is hosted by global peer-to-peer network Entrepreneurship Organisation (EO).

Wrappup’s team - Rami Salman, Ayush Chordia and Rishav Jalan - opted for Voicea’s stocks instead of taking cash as a result of the initial acquisition.

Wrappup (Voicea) was incubated at IN5 – a platform that provides entrepreneurs and professionals of all disciplines and career levels access to a comprehensive suite of benefits for promotion, talent development, business support in addition to workspace, facilities and equipment.

“It’s been a great journey for us, starting from a prototype built in a 24 hour Hackathon to now with Cisco getting the opportunity to impact millions of users with the product we built. In this journey, we were fortunate to get a lot of support from the local community and in5 in particular which has been Wrappup’s home from start and helped us scale our start-up and connect with mentors and other entrepreneurs,” said Jalan.

Commenting on the deal, Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai Outsource City (DOC) said: “In the tech industry, building the right connections and capabilities is paramount. Cisco’s acquisition of Voicea – which had acquired in5’s Wrappup last year – is proof of that.
“As Dubai Internet City is home to tech companies of all sizes, the deal illustrates the power of universally scalable ideas that are supported by strong networks. We hope this encourages further world-class innovation within our local start-up scene, and we congratulate all teams involved on their success.”

The Middle East has experienced a steady growth in the number of start-ups over the past five years. Studies indicate that the deal volume increased by 80 percent from 2015 and 3 percent from 2017 to 366 deals in 2018, according to an annual VC report by Dubai-based Magnitt.