MENA Startup Ecosystem News | August 2022

MENA ecosystem news, mena startup, Tamara, Tabby, Noon, Namshi, STV, from Startup to IPO, Magnitt, Cartlow, Melltoo, Smartcrowd, SWVL, Udrive, Al Maya, Conektr, Dtec Ventures, Dtec Sandbox, Incubation, Acceleration, Coworking

Here is this month’s compilation of startup news. This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: MENA Startup Ecosystem News – 2022 Aug


MENA has potential to produce 45 Unicorns worth $100B in equity value by 2030:

According to STV’s report “From Startup to IPO”, MENA has the potential to produce 45 Unicorns in the next 7 years, including a possible decacorn (~$10B equity value). The spike in tech demands and gap in offline offerings create leapfrog opportunities in the region, especially apparent in the banking and retail sectors.


Tabby Finance UAE $150M, Venture Debt Atalaya Capital Management, Partners for Growth (PFG)
Tamara Finance KSA $100M, Series B Sanabil Investments, Coatue, Shorooq Partners, Endeavor Catalyst,
ArabyAds Marketing / Advertising UAE $30M, Pre-Series B AfricInvest
Homzmart Consumer services Egypt $23M, Pre-Series B STV, Impact46, Outliers Venture Capital, Rise Capital and NUWA Capital
Dukkantek Enterprise SaaS UAE $10M, Pre-Series A Led by BECO Capital; from Rocketship and Colle Capital, Comma Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos Ventures, Wamda Capital
Everdome Metaverse UAE $10M, undisclosed round GEM Digital Limited
Stake Real Estate UAE $8M, Pre-Series A MEVP, BY Ventures, Vivium Holding, Combined Growth Real Estate
OneOrder F&B Egypt $6.5M, undisclosed Contact Factoring
Teeela Consumer Services Kuwait $3.75, Pre-Series A Led by Wealth Well, from Mad’a Investment Company
Convertedin Marketing Egypt $3M, Seed Led by Merak Capital, fom 500Global, MSAS
Zywa Finance UAE $3M, Seed Goodwater Capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Rebel Fund, Trampoline Venture Partners, Zemu VC, European family offices & angels
Produze Marketplace / agriculture UAE $2.6M, Seed Led by Accel; from  All In Capital, and founders of Ninjacart, Sammunati, Fashinza, Drip Capital, CityMall, Stellapps, DhanHQ
Sharwa E-commerce Egypt $2M, Pre-Seed Led by Nuwa Capital, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund; from angels
Subsbase Enterprise SaaS Egypt $2.4M, Seed Led by Global Ventures; HALA Ventures, P1 Ventures, Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Plug and Play, Ingressive Capital, Camel Ventures, Falak Startups and Arzan Venture Capital
Procurified Construction UAE $1.1M, Seed Led by Aditum Investment Management, from Signal Peak Ventures, Al Hathboor Group, Empede Capita, angels
Zeew Enterprise SaaS Egypt $630K, Seed Plug and Play, Poland Prize and angels
Bonbell F&B Egypt $350K, undisclosed round Angel
Barakah F&B KSA $300K, Pre-Seed Alriyadah Investments
Bayzat Human Resources UAE Undisclosed The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF)
Cargoz Logistics UAE Undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed Nama Ventures
FACEKI AI, Security Bahrain Undisclosed Tenmou
FACEKI AI, Security Bahrain Undisclosed amount, Seed Led by Nama Ventures; from Vision Ventures, angels
Mintroute Retail UAE Undisclosed Razer Gold (US)
OBM Education Egypt Undisclosed EdVentures
Sponix Tech Sports Qatar Undisclosed Aser Ventures


UAE: Industry Share by Funding and Deals by Magnitt

  • Fintech is the champion industry in H1 2022 YTD driving 33% of the total funding and transactions recorded.
  • Food & Beverage has had the most interesting trajectory in the region with most of the funding accumulated by the region being driven by a single startup.
  • E-commerce is not part of the top 3 funded industries since 2017. But it ranks 2nd in number of deals with 13.2% of the total transactions closed by the VC ecosystem




G42 launches $10B G42 Expansion Fund with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG): Managed by a subsidiary of G42, the fund will operate as a private equity investor, focused on late-stage growth companies with disruptive technologies and strong business fundamentals.

COTU Ventures raises from DFDF: COTU Ventures, a VC firm offering capital for early-stage startups, raised investment from Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF). The announcement was made via the professional networking platform, LinkedIn. Founded in 2020, the firm has invested in 4 UAE startups: Supy and Zenda (fintech); Huspy (proptech) and Qureos (edtech).

Iraq Islamic Bank partners with MSA Novo to launch fund: The fund will invest in tech-focused startups in Iraq. Targeted sectors include core logistics, payments infrastructure layers, consumer technology platforms and enterprise enablers.


KSA’s KABi Technologies acquires BLOOVO: HR consultancy KABi Technologies acquires recruitment tech solution BLOOVO (UAE). The acquisition will integrate BLOOVO’s solutions with KABi’s and help prospective customers accelerate towards a digitized, automated and smart experience-driven recruitment function

Cartlow acquires Melltoo: Reverse logistics platform Cartlow (UAE), acquires pre-loved online marketplace Melltoo. Melltoo customers will be enabled to access a wider range of products and benefits. The acquisition will allow Cartlow to further its growth in the global reverse logistics market.

UAE PropTech startup Huspy makes twin acquisitions: Huspy announced acquisition of two mortgage brokerages: Just Mortgages and Finance Lab whereby founders and staff from both companies will join Huspy. This follows Huspy’s earlier acquisition of Home Matters. The unification of players wil enhance the process of getting a mortgage and provide home buyers with market leading financing offers.

SmartCrowd secures permit to expand to KSA: Real-estate crowdfunding platform SmartCrowd has been granted a  FinTech experimental permit by the Saudi Capital Markets Authority (CMA). The company is working on requirements to launch its  Real Estate Funds Distribution Platform within Saudi Arabia soon. The expansion will provide opportunity for Saudi nationals to diversify their portfolio and global investors to take advantage of the Saudi real-estate market.

SWVL announced private placement: The Dubai-based mobility and transport solutions provider signed an agreement with US-based institutional investors for the sale and purchase of over 12 million shares along with securities for $20 million at a price of $1.65 per share. Series A Warrants will expire 5 years from date of issuance, and Series B Warrants will expire 2 years from date of issuance. If exercised, this will give the company  an additional $30M

UAE’s PayBy gets acquired by Group AstraTech: Fintech platform PayBy gets acquired by Group  AstraTech, a UAE-born tech development & investment group for an undisclosed sum. Astra plans to   acquire, repurpose, and bring together established and sector-leading leading platforms to create an ultra platform to save people time with completing essential everyday tasks, including payments, transfers and transactions.

Al Maya acquires e-commerce platform Conektr: UAE-headquartered retailer Al Maya bought a majority stake in Conektr, an e-commerce site for fast moving consumer goods. Conektr is said to supply more than 7,000 groceries in the UAE. The acquisition will help Al Maya expand its distribution base.

Udrive expands to KSA: The UAE-based pay-per-minute & daily car rental platform to launch in Riyadh, with car rental rates starting from SAR 0.60 per minute or SAR 130 per day (up to 200 km).  Plans to roll out in Jeddah and other KSA cities are lined up for 2023.

BNPL startup valU acquires Paynas: Egypt-based valU acquires Paynas, a cloud platform and service that provides streamlined HR and payroll management. Paynas will act as a gateway for valU to reach micro, small and medium businesses for financial inclusion of such, including the unbanked in Egypt, in hopes of driving social and economic impact.

Noon to acquire Namshi: Ecommerce platform, Noon, is buying online fashion platform Namshi for $335.2M. The ecommerce fashion platform is owned by property developer giant Emaar, whose board has approved the cash sale. The acquisition is awaiting approval from Noon’s board.


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