February saw the launch a new investment platform, Nuwa Capital, the creation of KSA’s Ministry of Investments and a number of growth stage funding rounds in the region. Here’s a roundup of the month’s startup ecosystem highlights.
You can download a PDF version via this link: GCC Startup Ecosystem News Roundup – 2020-02
- Nuwa Capital Investment Platform launched: The fund targets final commitment of up to $100 million and focuses on Direct To Consumer (DTC), Fintech, Mobility & Logistics and Enterprise segments. Managed by Khaled Talhouni. Al Faisallah Group joins as anchor investor.
- KSA creates Ministry of Investment: KSA promotes Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), its state entity governing investments, into a full ministry, now known as Ministry of Investment.
- District 2020 launches Scale2Dubai: The global entrepreneurship program aims to enable global innovators & startups to scale their businesses in Dubai; benefits include a soft landing program with two years of free working space, and support in visa & business setup.
|Startup||Sector / Industry||Location||Amount & Round||Investors|
|Kitopi||F&B||UAE, USA||$60M Series B||led by Knollwood and Lumia Capital, incl. BECO, Global Ventures, et al|
|Vezeeta||Healthcare||Egypt||$40M Series D||led by Gulf Capital incl. Saudi Technology Ventures|
|SellAnyCar.com||Transport||UAE||$35M undisclosed round||led by Sanabil Investments et al|
|Okadoc||Healthcare||UAE||$10M Series A||Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Ithmar Capital Partners et al|
|Elmenus||F&B||Egypt||$8M, Series B||led by Global Ventures and Algebra Ventures|
|Seez||Transport||UAE||$6M Series A||Crealize (Germany), Wamda, Phoenician funds, et al|
|Liwwa||Finance||Jordan||$6M undisclosed round||led by Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO, et al|
|Eat App||F&B||Bahrain||$5M Series B||led by 500 Startups and Derayah VC|
|Tamatem||Gaming||Jordan||$3.5M undisclosed round||led by Wamda, incl. Modern Electronics & North Base Media|
|Homzmart||E-commerce||Egypt||$1.3M Seed||MSA Capital, Oman Technology Fund, EquiTrust|
|MarkeetEx||E-commerce||Oman||$1M Seed||undisclosed private investors in Oman and USA|
|Garment IO||Manufacturing||Egpt||$450K Seed||Egypt Ventures, 500 Startups|
|Addenda||Finance||UAE||Undisclosed amount, Bridge round||AB Accelerator Program by AB Ventures|
|Bosta||Logistics||Egypt||Undisclosed amount, Series A||DPDgroup (France)|
|Chefz||F&B||KSA||Undisclosed amount, Seed||Vision Ventures, Impact 46, and Ocean X|
|Raqamyah||Finance||KSA||Undisclosed amount, Seed||Impact46 Seed Fund|
- Cafu founder unveils new property tech startup “Urban”, a mobile/web application bringing the rental journey online.
- Dubai Economy establishes KYC Blockchain Consortium in partnership with 6 UAE banks to allow freelances and entrepreneurs in Dubai to open bank accounts instantly.
- Emirates signs 3 year deal with blockchain loyalty solution Loyyal. Loyyal’s solution is now in production with Emirates Skywards.
- Careem and RTA launch 800 rental bikes across 78 locations in Dubai for public use starting 29th February.
- Social media monitoring platform Crowd Analyzer acquired micro-influencer marketing platform Task Spotting. Financial details were undisclosed.
- Jordanian content startup Mawdoo3 acquired Relevant Network, an Amman-based affiliate marketing company that helps brands and businesses in MENA.
- Delivery Hero’s MENAT regional revenue in 2019 jumps by 126% to $775 million, with the region continuing to be the company’s largest market.
- Mobile wallets, Careem Pay and Noon Pay were granted initial approval in Saudi by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).
According to Magnitt’s 2019 Saudi Arabia Ventures Capital Snapshot report
- 71 venture deals took place in Saudi Arabia in 2019, up 92% from 2018
- $67M was invested in Saudi-based startups in 2019, up 35% from 2018.
- 41 institutions invested in Saudi-based startups in 2019, up 58% from 2018
- E-commerce and Delivery & Transport remain top industries
- Across the MENA, KSA ranks 3rd in terms of highest number of deals and total funding in 2019.
- Newly established accelerators and other public and private initiatives spur the growing startup and venture capital ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.
- Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) expands the scope of the $146 million (AED535 million) Ventures Fund to participate in Series B and beyond funding rounds, invest in established regional and global funds and collaborate with global accelerators.
- Saudi Telecom Ventures (STV) hires Ivan Jakovljevic from Google to lead STV’s portfolio growth and firm development.
- Mubadala Investment Company to look into significantly increasing their investment in life sciences and medical technology sector.
- Private equity company Carlyle Group to open regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi via its partnership with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners
- Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to acquire Vodafone’s entire 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt for $2.39 billion. The sale marks Vodafone’s exit as telecom operator in Egypt. The remaining 45% stake is owned by Telecom Egypt.
- Hub71 announces opening of first WeWork in the UAE, spanning 3 floors with a total of 1,200 desks.
- Hub71 adds 4 more startups in their Incentive Program, bringing the total to 39.
- Hub71 partners with Aldar and ADCB under the former’s Corporate Engagement Program, to provide mentorship, launch global challenges and collaborate with startups on creating proof of concepts.
ACCELERATORS / INCUBATORS
- Intelak selects 4 winning startups from their latest cohort: Sherpa (Canada), Troop Travel (Spain), Mobimatter (UAE) and Seafood Souq (UAE).
- TechStars announces the Inaugural Class of the TechStars Hub71 accelerator comprising of 10 startups. The program is located at WeWork X Hub71. Demo Day is scheduled for 20th April 2020.
- Krypto Labs shortlists 16 startups for their 3-month program, The Bridge. 50% of selected teams include an Emirati member.
- Business accelerator TRIBE Labs (Kuwait), to invest US$1 million in a bid to promising startups who will be part of their acceleration program.
- 01 March: Detecting Fraudulent Transactions using Blockchain at Dtec, Dubai
- 19 March: Techstars Startup Weekend Ras Al Khaimah
- 02 April: Fintech Retreat 2020, Egypt