Paul Kenny

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Paul Kenny
Paul Kenny.jpg
Alma materUniversity of Galway
OrganizationOdla (CEO)
Spouse(s)Yuki Kenny
  • Most Influential Expats 2018 by Forbes
  • 10th most influential persons under the age of 30
  • Top 10 Entrepreneurs in the Middle East by Gulf Business
  • Arabian Business Start Up 'Mentor of the Year' Award
  • Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2012
  • Entrepreneur of the Year by Gulf Business, 2012
  • 30 under 30 by The Independent

Paul Kenny is an Irish serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and mentor widely recognized as the founder of, a pioneering daily deal platform.[1] Currently serving as the CEO of Odla, he also holds advisory and directorial positions with entities like New Ground, YPO, Stuff, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, JETRO, Amodoria, Afri Tea and Coffee Blenders, and Primera. He co-established MENA's largest e-commerce grocery platform, Danube Online, and spearheaded successful digital transformation ventures for global industry leader P&G.[2]

Kenny has been featured in prestigious publications, accompanied by numerous distinctions. Renowned as a significant figure in the Middle East and Africa's startup sphere, he is recognized by Forbes as one of the 'Most Influential Expats in the UAE.' He has also been recognized with the Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Mentor of the Year Award, and inclusion in 30 under 30, shaping Ireland's future.[3]

Early life and education

Kenny was born and raised in Galway, Ireland, into a family with a business background, owning Kenny's Bookshop and Art Gallery. He received his bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Galway. Concurrently with his academic endeavors, Kenny was actively involved in his family business. This exposure nurtured his early interest in entrepreneurship, where he established the bookshop's online presence and expanded its reach by listing it as a seller on various e-commerce platforms, including Amazon and eBay.

During his university program, Kenny got an internship at Jumeirah Group, where he gradually ascended to overseeing the online marketing sector. He later participated in Jumeirah's leadership program, Aspiro, before joining Emirates Group as an online marketing consultant.


In 2010, Kenny established, an innovative daily deals website. Under his leadership, swiftly gained prominence, becoming a prominent platform for daily deals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. By 2012, had attracted significant attention, amassing a subscriber base of 1.6 million individuals. The enterprise's success culminated in its acquisition by a U.S. investment firm, Tiger Global Management, in 2014.[4]

During 2012–2016, Kenny was a startup fund ambassador, promoting Ireland in the Middle East and North Africa through Enterprise Ireland.[5]

In 2016, Kenny assumed the role of managing director at AYM Commerce, a technology enterprise specializing in crafting e-commerce platforms for groceries and corporations. In his capacity, Kenny played a pivotal role in the initiation, establishment, and operation of Danube Online, the most extensive e-commerce grocery platform in the MENA region.[6]

Since 2017, as the CEO of ODLA in Dubai, Kenny has been leading digital transformations for brands, corporations, and government bodies.[7]

Beyond his ventures, Kenny has established himself as an active investor, mentor, and advisor to a myriad of entities, spanning governmental, non-profit, and commercial domains across the globe.[8]

In 2018, he mentored winners of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), acknowledging adept student management of businesses during higher education.

Kenny is the director at New Ground and is affiliated with YPO. Kenny also imparts advisory insights at Stuff, assumes the role of Beachhead Advisor and Coach for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and is associated with JETRO in matters about Middle East-Japan trade relations. He participates in the Gitex Technology Week in Dubai, contributing to industry dialogues. Kenny's professional involvements extend to his capacity as a partner at Amodoria, a British fashion, lifestyle, and technology brand; a director at Afri Tea and Coffee Blenders, the largest Tanzanian coffee company; and an advisor at Primera, a significant pan-African precious metals trading company.[9]

Awards and recognitions

  • Forbes acknowledged him as one of the Most Influential Expats in the UAE in 2018.[10]
  • He secured the Start-up of the Year award at Seamless in 2017.
  • He received the Global Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012 from Ernst & Young.
  • He was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Gulf Business Industry Awards in 2012.[11]
  • His work with the GSEA was acknowledged with the Mentor of the Year Award at the Arabian Business StartUp Awards in 2017.[12]
  • In 2018, Kenny was featured in Steve Madden's 'Self-Made' campaign, spotlighting entrepreneurs reshaping their industries.
  • He was recognized as one of the '30 under 30 shaping Ireland's future' by The Independent, Ireland's leading publication.[13]

Personal life

Kenny resides in Dubai, UAE, with his wife, Yuki Kenny, and their three children. During his free time, he enjoys family gatherings, vacations, and adventures with his loved ones.


  1. Jones, Rory (21 September 2012). "Paul Kenny: Early developer grows in stature". The National. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  2. "Paul Kenny - Author Biography". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  3. "Paul Kenny: from entrepreneur to investor to mentor". Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  4. "The Interview: 'You have to invest the time and have to go through the pain'". 27 September 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  5. East, Forbes Middle. "New App Set To Innovate Saudi's Online Grocery Shopping Space". Forbes ME. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  6. Константинова, Полина (16 July 2018). "Что хочет увидеть инвестор в стартапе, в который собирается вложить деньги | Rusbase". (in русский). Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  7. Kennedy, John (19 December 2017). "Paul Kenny takes Aym at another Middle East digital success". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  8. "Kenny AYMs for second tech fortune". 20 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  9. "American University of Dubai student wins UAE qualifiers of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards". 6 February 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  10. East, Forbes Middle. "50 Most Influential Expats In The UAE 2018". Forbes ME. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  11. Churchill, Neil (25 September 2012). "REVEALED: The Gulf Business Industry Awards Winners 2012". Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  12. "Finalists revealed for Arabian Business StartUp Awards 2017". Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  13. Advertiser, Martina Nee Galway. "Galway man scoops major emerging entrepreneur award". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 28 August 2023.

External links