This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: GCC Startup Ecosystem News Roundup – 2021-02 V2.0
Funding picked up a strong momentum in the first months of 2021 across MENA region. According to Wamda, $43 million, were raised in January only across 37 venture deals, further showing the appetite for this asset class
|Startup||Sector / Industry||Location||Amount & Round||Investors|
|Foodics||F&B||KSA||$20M, Series B||led by Sanabil Investments & Other investors|
|Tarabut Gateway||Finance||UAE/Bahrain||$13M, Seed||led by Target Global. Other investors|
|Azom||Technology||KSA||$9.5M, Series A||from Assr AlJawal and an angel investors|
|NymCard||Finance||UAE||$7.6M, Series A||led by Shorooq Partners with the participation of OTF Jasoor Ventures and VentureSouq,|
|North Ladder||Consumer||UAE||$5M, Series A||led by BECO Capital.|
|FlexxPay||Finance||UAE||$3M, Pre-Series A||led by JIMCO and Target Global. Several other investors|
|XPLOR||Real Estate||UAE||$3M, Seed||Ayana Holding|
|Raqamyah||Finance||KSA||$2.3M, Pre-Series A||led by Impact46 with participation from Vision Ventures, Mad’a Investment, Alyusur Company, Fadeed Investment, and strategic angel investors.|
|Sakneen||Real Estate||Egypt||$1.1M, Seed||led by Algebra Ventures with participation from Sarwa Capital and Foundation Ventures.|
|VoM||Finance||KSA||$670K, Pre-Seed||Angel investors|
|Mysayara||Transpiration||UAE||$650K, Pre-Series A||from a group of investors|
|Sprout FZCO||F & B||UAE||$650K, Pre-Seed||Bahrain-based FA Holding.|
|Engagesoft||Technology||Jordan||undisclosed amount Pre-Seed||from angel investors in Saudi Arabia and Jordan|
- Wamda, has launched an English-Arabic business terminology translation tool, in partnership with smart language solutions provider Tarjama, to address the language gap by helping Arabic-speaking audiences, and find the correct and easy-to-understand Arabic translation of English words and phrases that are relevant to the investment, tech and startup scene.
- Telgani, car rental startup, introduced new services, notably the addition of delivering the cars to its customers, which attracted the attention of Hertz. the two companies partnered up to facilitate vehicle rental Hertz so far has processed 2500 vehicle deliveries and received almost 4000 bookings through Telgani’s platform thanks to this partnership.
- Egypt-based Digital Finance Holdings, Inc (DFin) has launched a Fintech-focused platform that aims to help build next-generation Fintech’s in MENA, alongside launching a new venture debt fund – Camel Ventures. The plan to launch in Q2 of this year.
JANUARY 2021 INVESTMENTS IN MENA (Wamda)
- $43 million, raised across 37 deals, predominantly in the UAE($20M), and KSA ($10M). This represents $11.5 million increase vs. January 2020 (21 deals).
- Seed investments dominated the January headline, and larger rounds were witnessed in February ($13M, Seed round. For Tarabut Gateway).
- Egypt, UAE and KSA kept the lead in terms of number of deals, with the latter two also attracting the most in investment.
- The Fintech space was again really active with 10 deals totaling to $31.6 million.
- Savola Group, a publicly listed Saudi Group with operating companies in food and retail, has announced the launch of its Corporate Venture Capital Program. It will invest in innovative and disruptive technologies and opportunities in the food and retail space regionally and globally.
- Al Zayani Investments Group has announced the establishment of Al Zayani Venture Capital, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain. The VC is focused on investing in startups and disruptive technology to the bright young entrepreneurs both in the Kingdom of Bahrain and in the region.”
- Nuwa Capital has announced the first close of its flagship fund – Nuwa Ventures Fund I (NVFI), having raised three-quarters of its $100M target in less than a year since its launch. The fund primarily targets rapidly growing markets in MENA and neighboring geographies, including Turkey, Pakistan, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Hambro Perks launches $50M Oryx Fund, to invest in early-stage MENA startups. The Oryx Fund is a venture fund backing early-stage startups across MENA, with a particular focus on Fintech, Healthtech, and EdTech. The Oryx Fund is based in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and will be overseen by a team of investment professionals.
ACCELERATORS / INCUBATORS
- 500 Startups, an active global early-stage venture capital firm, has partnered with Sanabil Investments, a financial investment company focused on global private investments in venture capital, growth, and small buyout, to launch the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program in Riyadh.
- Google regional accelerator program targeting startups across the Mena, the selected tech startups of the first cohort of the program are Abwaab (Jordan), Carers(Jordan), Chefaa (Egypt), Dabchy(Tunisia), Designhubz (UAE), Lamsa (UAE), Lendo (Saudi Arabia), Nafas Meditation (Oman), ViaVii(Jordan) and 360VUZ (UAE, a Dtec Company).
- Changelabs and New York-based investor/operator Modus Capital have announced the launch of a scale-up accelerator targeting top Egyptian companies. The program will admit and work closely with 15 leading Egyptian post-revenue startups, across 3 cohorts (1 per annum).
ARTICLES WORTH READING
- MENA over the past 5 years: Which industries define the ecosystem?
- Why Fintech has the ability to transform SMEs in the region
- UAE to grant citizenship for foreign investors and creatives
- District 2020 announces key partnerships to help create a global innovation ecosystem
- Webedia Arabia Group acquires SaudiGamer.com to establish it as premium gaming hub
- 2020 was a record-breaking year for investor activity in the MENA startup ecosystem, according to MAGNiTT
Entrepreneur Middle East