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 – 2023 February
$1.1Bn funding raised in first half of Q1 by startups in MENA, Pakistan & Turkey: Magnitt reports that as of 23rd February 2023, the total funding amount raised captured 31% of the total funding reported in the first quarter of 2022.
Four MEGA deals ($100M+) were the main contributor to the funding value, capturing 60% of MENAPT’s VC funding.
- KSA takes the lead with its e-commerce platforms: Floward’s Series C of $156M, and Nana’s Series C of $133M.
- Egypt’s fintech Halan closed the second MEGA deal for the country of $260M
- UAE’s One Moto Technologies Ltd closed $150M in January
|STARTUP||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||AMOUNT & ROUND||INVESTORS|
|Halan||Finance||Egypt||$260M, undisclosed round||$260M equity: Chimera Investments and other investors|
|Floward||Consumer services||KSA||$156M, Series C||Led by Aljazira Capital, Rainwater Partners, STV|
|Nana||Consumer services||KSA||$133M, Series C||Led by Kingdom Holding, Uni-Ventures; from Sultan Holding Company, Al-Jasser Holding Company, Red Diamond Company, Dallah Al-Baraka Group, Al-Jammaz Holding Company, other investors|
|Yodawy||Health||Egypt||$16M, Series B||Led by Delivery Hero Ventures, Global Ventures; from AAIC Investment, Dallah Albaraka, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), C-Ventures, and P1 Ventures|
|Lithium Infinity||Energy||KSA||$6M, undisclosed round||Ma’aden, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Innovation Ventures.|
|Telgani||Automotive||KSA||$6M, Series A||Led by Hala Auto, Elm Company|
|Aion Digital||Finance||Bahrain||$5M, Bridge||Led by Fintactics Ventures|
|Munjz||Real estate||KSA||$5M, Series A||Vision Ventures, Almajdiah Investment Company, Wathiq Fund|
|Palm.hr||Human resources||KSA||$5M, Pre-Series A||Led by Speedinvest and RAED Ventures; from Wamda Capital|
|Gameball||Marketing / Advertising||Egypt||$3.5M, Seed||500 Global, P1 Ventures, Launch Africa, Arzan Ventures, SEEDRA Ventures, Propeller, Core Vision, angels|
|YOUGotaGift||Consumer services||UAE||$3M, undisclosed round||Tenami Capital|
|Carefer||Automotive||KSA||$2.9M, Pre-Series A||Led by Elm; from Merced and Sarh funds.|
|AirGo||Logistics||Oman||$2.7M, Seed||Forming Futures|
|Amwal||Finance||KSA||$2.5M, Pre-Seed||Led by Shorooq Partners, Outliers Ventures Capital, angels|
|Terraa||F&B||Morocco||$1.5M, Pre-Seed||Led by Foodlabs; from UM6P Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, Musha Ventures, DFS Lab|
|Parcel||Logistics||Bahrain||$1M, undisclosed round||Hope Ventures, other investors|
|KOOLSKOLS||Education||Morocco||$960K, undisclosed round||Azur Innovation Fund|
|Orisdi||Consumer services||Iraq||$220K, Bridge||Al Sharqiya TV Group, 3B Starlight Investment, angels|
|Holo||Finance||UAE||Undisclosed amount, Seed||Led by Watheeq Proptech Venture, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund; from Dubai Future District Fund, Annex Investments, Tawaref Angel Network|
|SANTECH-TURE||Health||UAE||Undisclosed||Gulf Capital, Shorooq Partners|
|Tawseel||Consumer services||Yemen||Undisclosed||Numu Capital|
- Yanzo integrates its super app with ChatGPT: Text-based super app Yanzo has incorporated ChatGPT into its conversational concierge service, the first company in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) to do so. As a digital concierge service that operates over Whatsapp, Yanzo used to have requests read and responded to by a human. Now, it is ChatGPT communicating with the users on Yanzo’s Whatsapp.
- Noon acquires Namshi: KSA’s online marketplace noon has completed the acquisition of UAE’s online fashion portal Namshi, after it was sold by Emaar last year. The move will expand Noon’s digital offering of products and services to include more fashion and lifestyle brands for the region’s consumers.
- KSA’s Hala acquires UAE’s Paymennt.com: Fintech startup Hala acquired Dtec Ventures-backed Paymennt.com (previously called PointCheckout) through its holding company. This would allow Hala to further enhance its product offerings by incorporating online payments, enabling its SME customers to increase their online presence and process omnichannel payments both offline and online.
- e& acquires UAE’s ServiceMarket: etisalat by e& has acquired the UAE-based online marketplace for household services, ServiceMarket. This acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy to empower consumers, strengthen Smiles’s online marketplace presence and drive diversification of their business.LifeOnScreen acquires MMP Worldwide: UAE-based programmatic company, MMP World Wide (MMPWW) gets acquired by a Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) tech company, LifeOnScreen, in a $29.9M (AED 110M) deal. The deal will allow LifeOnScreen to advance further into the digital and tech space, consolidating the full MMPWW portfolio and aiding expansion into new markets (EMEA and APAC).
- Careem stops operations in Qatar: The Dubai-based super app sent a message to its customers in Qatar that effective 28th February, Careem’s ride-hailing operations will no longer operate in Qatar. Customers that hold credit will be issued a refund by 15th March. The transportation network did not reveal any reason for why it stopped its operations.
- IMPACT46 launches $133M Fund: This is the third fund from the KSA-based VC firm, and seeks to invest in tech startups in different areas, mainly: FinTech, E-commerce, and SaaS. The Fund focuses on investing in Saudi startups with the potential to invest in promising startups from the MENA region.
- Emkan Capital closes debut fund: The KSA-based VC closed its inaugural fund of $31M to back pre-seed and seed stage tech startups. Target sectors are FinTech, e-commerce and logistics, as well as businesses working with AI, cyber, cloud and health tech across the MENA region.
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