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 – December 2022
MENA startups funding reached $3.2Bn in 2022: In Magnitt’s 2023 Venture Investment Report, startups in MENA raised $3.2Bn in 2022 across 627 deals. This shows an 8% increase from 2021 in deal funding amount despite an 8% decline in the number of deals vs. 2021.
- Mega deals rose from 3 in 2021, to 7 in 2022, accounting for 32% of MENA’s 2022 funding. Three of these come from KSA.
- UAE topped the list in terms of funding amount, but Egypt took first place in the number of deals.
- Fintech, Transportation & Logistics, and E-commerce are the most funded sectors, together taking up 55% of MENA’s funding.
|STARTUP||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||AMOUNT & ROUND||INVESTORS|
|Manafa||Finance||KSA||$28M, Series A||led by STV and Wa’ed Ventures|
|Bayzat||Human Resources||UAE||$25M, Series C||Led by DisruptAD, Ischyros New York|
|Calo||F&B||Bahrain||$13M, Pre-Series A||Led by Nuwa Capital, STV; from Khwarizmi Ventures, Al Faisaliah Group, AlRajhi Family Office, other investors|
|Lumishare||Blockchain||UAE||$3.2M, Seed||Led by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Ahmed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan from Abu Dhabi Royal Family|
|OneOrder||F&B/ Hospitality||Egypt||$3M, Seed||Led by Nclude, A15, Delivery Hero Ventures|
|Letswork||Real Estate||UAE||$2.1M, Seed||500 Global, The Space, Dtec Ventures, angels|
|Suplyd||F&B / Logistics||Egypt||$1.6M, Pre-Seed||Endure Capital, Seedstars, Camel Ventures, Falak Startups, Outlierz, Plus VC Fort, Alex Angels, angels|
|AtarCloud||Property||KSA||$1.3M, Seed||BIM Ventures, angels, institutional investors from the Investors’ Mine Group|
|SIDEUP||E-commerce||KSA||$1.2M, Seed||Launch Africa VC, 500 Global, Riyadh Angels, Alex Angels, Al Tuwaijri Fund, angels|
|Secret Skin||Beauty / Health||UAE||$765K, Pre-Seed||led by angel investors; from INSEAD and Wharton Alumni groups|
|Justyol||Fashion||Morocco||$350K, Pre-Seed||Earn Rocket Investment Holding|
|Muqbis||Handicrafts||Egypt||Undisclosed, Pre-Seed||Nama Ventures|
|Mahaseel Masr||Agriculture||Egypt||Undisclosed||Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC)|
|Telescope||Media||Jordan||Undisclosed, Seed||Select Venture Equity|
Taken from MAGNiTT’s 2023 MENA Ventures Investment Report
The MENA region surpassed its 2021 level by 8%, crossing the $3Bn mark, despite an 8% drop in the number of deals recorded
- Mega Deals: rose from 3 in 2021 to 7 in 2022, three of which were KSA startups.
- Top 5 startups: 26% of MENA’s funding were concentrated on these 5 startups, with the two largest investments based in UAE.
- Bigger round sizes: round size evolution shows an increasing investor focus on the $1M – $5M rounds, which took up 39% of the total number of deals in 2022, up from 36% in 2021.
- Record exits: MENA saw M&A transactions rise by 71% with UAE, KSA and Egypt doubling their exits YoY. More than 50% of MENA exits were startups founded five or less years ago.
- Q4 Recovery: Following 3 quarters of declining funding amount and deals, the region saw signs recovered in Q4 with $843M funding round across 147 deals.
- Leading industries: Top 2 industries Fintech and Transportation & Logistics reported growth in their funding levels from 2021 and had a deal among the top five biggest deals in the region (Mega Deals). eCommerce ranks third but showed a drop in the funding level compared to the previous year.
- Top countries: UAE ranked first in funding value with $1.2Bn, down 20% from 2021. Whereas KSA showed an increase of 72% in funding value at $987M. In terms of number of deals, Egypt ranked first with 160 deals, UAE is second with 153 and KSA at third place with 144 deals.
- International appetite: One third of the capital deployed in the region was from the USA, reflecting increased international appetite towards investments in the MENA region.
Seedstars launches platform to develop VC managers in emerging markets: The Switzerland-based Seedstars and xMultiplied investment holding company launched an investment arm “Seedstars Capital” for emerging VC fund managers across the Middle East and other emerging markets, to provide them with resources to launch new funds and develop their investment firms, in alliance with Seedstars Africa Ventures.
Morningstar Ventures invests $5M in digital art gallery: The UAE-based VC firm Morningstar Ventures invested $5M in 37xDubai. 37xDubai is an interactive and immersive digital art gallery to be open in Q1 2023, and it will offer educational programmes, activations, private events, and monthly gatherings to create a global community of digital art enthusiasts.
FinTactics Ventures launches with $40M KSA and fintech focused fund: Venture builder FinTactics launches as collaborative partnership between Revival Lab and Arbah Capital. It is said to be the first venture builder that is specialised in fintech, insurance and regulatory technology (regtech) and approved by KSA’s Capital Market Authority (CMA).
Revival Lab signs investment partnership with United: United is an investment company founded in 2022 and acquire more than 30 new and fast-growing F&B brands in Saudi Arabia. The partnership with venture builder Revival Lab, also KSA-based, encourages the growth of new ventures in the F&B sector in the Kingdom, and promote the shift towards cloud kitchens.
PTS Investments Holdings partially acquires EDAM: US-based PTS investments Holding announced the partial acquisition of the Egypt-based healthtech EDAM for an undisclosed amount to help accelerate EDAM’s platform development and user growth. The move is part of PTS Investment Holding’s strategy for direct investments into the MEA region mainly in the technology, applied engineering, health and other sectors.
The Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF) launches a Venture Fellows program for Emiratis: DFDF announced the launch of a venture capital-focused fellowship program to equip Emirati up-and-coming venture capitalists with the tools and resources needed to build and nurture their own ventures. This first of its kind program has curriculum tailored for the region aimed at empowering the local community and is planned to start on 1 February 2023 covering four modules spread over 12 months.
Sharjah Media City (Shams) launches ‘Shams Valley’: Sharjah Media City (Shams) partners with UAE-based venture building studio Grow Valley to launch a new media-focused venture builder called Shams Valley to launch startups in the media and technology sectors. It is aimed at building an integrated system to launch a new generation of media companies and help shape the future of media in Sharjah and the region.
Cavendish Maxwell to acquire a majority in Property Monitor: UAE-based real estate advisory property valuation firm announced the acquisition of a majority stake in real estate technology and market intelligence specialist Property Monitor. The move aims to establish a real estate innovation hub to bridge the gap between traditional and AI-enabled solutions.
Morni invests $10M in Egypt to acquire mobility startups: The Saudi Arabia-based mobility solutions platform, Morni, Intends to invest $10M for new acquisitions in Egypt in the mobility sectors through Exists.me, an M&A advisory firm. This buy-side agreement will run until 2023, will help Morni in its expansion strategy within the Roadside Assistance & Automotive services sector.
Lezzoo acquires Saydo: The Iraqi-based on-demand delivery app, Lezzoo, acquired the B2B FMCG marketplace Saydo for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition represents a strategic move for Lezzoo towards its B2B expansion plans as it works to digitize Iraq’s food supply chain.
Fintech Galaxy acquires Underlie: Fintech Galaxy, a UAE-based open finance platform, acquired Underlie, an Egyptian open banking platform company offering application programming interface (APIs) to banks and businesses. The deal’s objective is to set Fintech Galaxy’s Open Finance and Open Banking wheels in full motion across the region.
Jumlaty and Appetito merges to become NOMU: Grocery delivery startups Jumlaty (KSA) and Appetito (Egypt) merged into a new entity called ’NOMU’. The merger will help the company to become MENA’s leading food-tech supply chain platform with an existing presence in KSA, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia covering 25 million people.
Egypt’s CheckMe acquires DoctorOnlinel Healthtech platform CheckMe offering on-demand medical lab services via its mobile platform, acquires virtual medical consultations platform, DoctorOnline. The move will help CheckMe provide a new wave of diagnostics and primary care physicians to its customer journey, in its bid to become the region’s go-to Healthtech Super App.
HUB 71 onboarded startups with $1Bn of collective funds raised: Hub71 has onboarded a community of startups that have raised $1BN in venture capital collectively since 2019. The accomplishment was made in a year where 53 high-growth technology businesses were recruited, each of which had demonstrated a history of attracting large-scale investments.
Airbnb launches one-stop hub for remote workers in Dubai: Airbnb launched the remote working hub, a one-stop-shop, for workers in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). The program aims to promote the city to remote workers seeking accommodation and guidance for their long-term stay
Dtec’s SANDBOX for early-stage startups puts Founders at its core: Dtec’s landmark 12-month startup program offers founders 200+ hours of workshops, 100+ hours 1:1 with expert practitioners, USD $950,000+ in-kind credits from partners, access to award-winning office space, Equity Warrant of USD $50,000, business licensing support, and much more. If you are an early-stage tech entrepreneur in Dubai, seeking to test, grow and scale, APPLY TODAY
WORTH THE READ
- An essential guide to SAFEs
- Carzaty: The realistic exit
- Startup advice: How to set up a business in Saudi Arabia
- Why are Chinese investors and startups so excited about KSA
- Trends to expect in 2023 – Wamda
- UAE workers can apply for one year paid leave to set their own firm in 2023
- Saudi Prince investing in $28Bn alt-meat market