MENA Startup Ecosystem News | February 2023

Dtec Startups, CoWorking, Dtec Ventures, Halan, Floward, Nana, Yan, e& acquires Servicemarket, Impact 46, Emkan Capital, Dtec Sandbox, Accelerator Program, Incubator Program

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


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 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 Fintech startup Hala acquired Dtec Ventures-backed (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.


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



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