MENA Startup Ecosystem News | July 2023

Funding, Alma Health, Kaso, YallaHub, Hunger Station, Delivery Hero, One Moto, Noon Pay,Kitopi, Dtec Ventures, Google Bard,

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 – July 2023


MENAPT startups brought $1.88B funding across 530 deals in H1 2023, showing a decline of 64% in funding value and 40% in number of deals vs H1 2022: Based on Magnitt’s H1 2023 MENA Venture Investment Summary:

  • Q2 2023 was the lowest funded quarter since Q4 2020 while the number of deals retreated to their 2018 level.
  • While funding was able to move past the $1Bn mark, almost half of it came from the MEGA rounds recorded by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. However, if Halan’s mega round of $260M is removed, Egypt would show a decline of 80% in funding and over 70% in number of deals vs. H1 2022.
  • Investor interest focused on smaller size / early-stage deals ($1M-$5M bracket size) with track record of product market fit.
  • Although FinTech is still the leading industry, deal flow has declined by 50%, while Ecommerce went down 47% and Transport and Logistics decreased by 51%.

INVESTMENTS (non-exhaustive)

Alma Health Health UAE $10M, Series A Led by Knuru Capital, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund; from e& capital, S3 Ventures, Pinnacle Capital, and Khwarizmi Ventures
Kaso F&B KSA $10M, Seed Spade Ventures, Hala Ventures, Seedra Ventures, Cyfr Capital, BY Venture Partners, Pioneer Fund, Vulpes Ventures
Flash Finance Egypt $6M, Seed Led by Addition; from Flourish Ventures, angels
YallaHub Retail / Ecommerce UAE $6M, Pre-Series A Led by Fedor Ovchinnikov
NOMU Group F&B KSA $5M, Seed DIV Capital, Shurfah, Core Vision, Purity for Information Technology, family offices, angels
Alfii HR UAE $2.5M, Pre-seed Led by Preface Ventures (US), Kayan Ventures (US, UAE-based Aditum Ventures and Wayfinders, angels
Revibe Circular commerce UAE $2.3M, undisclosed led by Resonance, Flat6Labs; from Techmind, Financiere Saint James, angels
Fortune Mine Gaming Turkey $2M, Seed Ludus Ventures, Tera Portföy, Heaventures, StartupFon Finance / Insurance UAE $2M, Seed Led by by Dubai Future District Fund; from DASH Ventures, Annex Investments, Sanabil Investments, Plus VC, Aditum Investments, Loyal VC, Plug and Play Ventures
DESAISIV Finance / Insurance KSA $2M, Pre-Seed 500 Global, Terra VC, Oqal, family offices
Chari Retail Morocco $1.5M, undisclosed Verof-Kepple Africa Ventures
Masroofi Finance Egypt $1.5M, undisclosed Undisclosed
Agenz Real estate Morocco $1.3M, Pre-Series A Azur Innovation Fund, Maroc Numeric Fund II, and Beenok.
Growdash F&B UAE $750K, Pre-Seed Led by Flat6Labs; from Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Judah VC, TPN Investments, angels
Unipal Education Bahrain $500K, undisclosed Tenmou, Flat6labs, GTS, angels
Exits.ME Finance Egypt Undisclosed Practice VC (US)
Get Outfit Fashion UAE Undisclosed, Pre-Seed Led by Forward Angel
Kaco Transport / Mobility Tunisia Undisclosed  UGFS North Africa
Menthum Finance Egypt Undisclosed, Pre-Seed Acasia Ventures, A15, angels
Tendrd Construction UAE Undisclosed Wa’ed Ventures


Hunger Station F&B KSA Delivery Hero, Germany $297M
OrxyLabs Cybersecurity UAE EDGE, UAE Undisclosed amount
Sanad Cah Finance KSA HyperPay, KSA Undisclosed amount


  • ONE MOTO secures $40M in lease financing: The lease financing was led by Pyse along with other investors, and will be used to  expedite the leasing of electric delivery vehicles and further establish its robust infrastructure network across the UAE to uniquely meet the growing demand for sustainable last-mile delivery solutions.
  • Turkiye’s Marti lists on NYSE after SPAC merger: Turkey-based mobility startup Marti has completed its SPAC merger with Galata Acquisition Corp. and began trading its Class A Ordinary Shares and warrants on the NYSE American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols “MRT” and “MRTW” with market cap of $190M
  • UAE forms Ministry of Investment: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the establishment of a Ministry of Investment. The Ministry will be responsible for proposing the general investment policies in coordination with the relevant authorities, in addition to preparing strategies, legislation, plans, projects, and national programs to promote the investment environment in the country and enhance its competitiveness.
  • Kitopi reveals solar-powered kitchen in Dubai: The multi-brand restaurant chain Kitopi partners with Yellow Door Energy to build a 838 megawatt-hours per year solar-powered kitchen located in National Industries Park. The facility is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 590 metric tons annually to help the multi-brand kitchen chain to save over one-third of its electricity cost from the first month itself, and boost its operational efficiency further, besides becoming a champion in sustainable development.
  • Google launches AI chatbot ‘Bard’ in Arabic: As Bard’s biggest product expansion since its launch in March, it can now understand questions in over 16  Arabic dialects and share response in modern standard Arabic (MSA). It is powered by Google’s latest language model “PaLM2” which has multilingual understanding of information
  • noon launches noon Pay: The Peer-to-Peer payment system enables individuals to transfer money in the form of noon credits. The user’s noon Pay balance can be used on the noon super app (noon, noon Minutes, noon Grocery, noon Food) and SIVVI or it can be sent to anyone using their mobile number or email address. The money transfer is instant and comes at no fee to its users.


  • UAE F&B company Agthia Group PJSC launches Agthia Ventures: The corporate venture fund was co-founded Agthia Group’s parent company, ADQ to expand the former’s innovation capabilities. The fund will be co-managed with  Touchdown Ventures. It is stage-agnostic and will invest in startups that offer snack and beverages, functional water and hydration, alternative proteins, sustainability solutions in farming and packaging, and e-commerce solutions for F&B
  • ISSF invests in Oryx Fund: Jordan’s Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF), has invested $2M in Hambro Perks’ Oryx Fund to empower the Jordanian startup ecosystem and drive technological innovation in the country. The collaboration aims to unlock opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support startups operating in key sectors such as fintech, healthtech, SaaS, edtech and logistics


  • 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
  • Rainmaking Innovation expands to KSA: The corporate innovation facilitator will launch two industry-focused programmes for KSA local startups: one focused on fintech and the other on tourism and hospitality. The company counts the likes of IKEA, Visa, Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC), Kuwait International Bank, Smart Dubai, Du, Orange, Vodafone, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and Engie as regional partners.