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 – June 2023
MENA startups raised $35.6M in June 2023, pushing half year funding to $1.6B, with KSA achieving highest funding value: Based on Wamda’s report, startups raised $35.6M across 45 deals:
- KSA takes first place in terms of funding value with $25M across 12 rounds, with UAE taking second with $6M raised over 20 rounds. Egyptians startups were the third largest recipients of capital thanks to Egypt’s trucking marketplace Trella’s $3.5 million round.
- Fintech remains to attract the most number of deals with 7 startups raising $3M. But it was the foodtech space that secured the most funding with just over $20 million raised across four startups, accounting for 56% of the total raised.
- While May was a bounceback month for investment in the region, June has been less dazzling, marking a 92% decrease month-on-month. However, if Tabby’s $350 million debt financing round announced in May is excluded, then this monthly decline falls to 62.5 per cent
|STARTUP||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||AMOUNT & ROUND||INVESTORS|
|Trella||Transport & Logistics||Egypt||$3.5M, undisclosed||Avanz Capital Egypt|
|EdfaPay||Finance||KSA||$3.2M, Seed||Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund|
|Colis.ma||Transport & Logistics||Morocco||$50K, undisclosed||The Baobab Network (Accelerator)|
|Autobia||Automotive||KSA||$2.5M, Seed||Led by Sadu Capital; from Wa’ed Ventures by Aramco, Raz Holding, Techstars, angels|
|File Orbis||IT Solutions||UAE||$2M, Undisclosed||Revo Capital|
|Chari.ma||Retail||Morocco||$1.5M, Undisclosed||Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures|
|Baeynh||Legal||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Bynow||Finance||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Ballurh||F&B||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|HorizonX||F&B||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Kharja||Recreation||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|The Architect||Interior Design||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Unipal||Marketing / Consumer services||Bahrain||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Ygii||Retail||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Zamn||Education||KSA||$133K, Seed||Flat6Labs Riyadh (Accelerator)|
|Agel||Finance||Egypt||Undisclosed, Pre-Seed||Plus VC, Seedstars International Ventures, Flat6labs, SEEDRA Ventures, Banque Misr Acceleration Program, angels|
|Byanat||Data Analytics||Oman||Undisclosed, Seed||500 Global, Sanabil Investments, Omantel, Al Jabr MENA, angels|
|Eyas App||Legal||KSA||Undisclosed, Seed||Riyadh Angel Investors|
|HashMove||Transport & Logistics||UAE||Undisclosed, Pre-Series A||Led by Bunat Ventures|
|Marahat||Education||UAE||Undisclosed, Seed||Plus VC|
|Retalio Technologies||Retail||KSA||Undisclosed, Pre-Series B||Shorooq Partners|
|Rodud||Transport & Logistics||KSA||Undisclosed||Mjalis Investment|
|The Food Lab||F&B||Egypt||Undisclosed, Seed||Shorooq Partners|
|Tmam||Finance||UAE||Undisclosed, Seed||Plus VC|
|Transportr||Transport & Logistics||UAE||Undisclosed, Seed||Ittihad Ventures Holding, Industrial Capital Group|
|COMPANY||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||ACQUIRER, LOCATION||DETAILS|
|Bloomax||Consumer services||KSA||Floranow, UAE||Combination of debt and equity|
|Arkan United||Healthcare||KSA||Rology, Egypt||Undisclosed amount|
|Spotii||Finance (BNPL)||KSA||NymCard, UAE||Undisclosed amount|
|GroCart||Consumer services||UAE||InstaShop, UAE||Undisclosed amount|
|Opio||Fashion||Egypt||The Fashion Kingdom||Undisclosed amount|
- DIFC to build Dubai AI and Web 3.0 Campus: The initiative aims to attact more than 500 startups by 2028, to become the largest cluster of artificial intelligence and tech companies in the MENA region, attracting $300M in collective funds, and create over 3,000 jobs by 2028. A dedicated campus spanning over 100,000 sq. ft. will be set up in the DIFC premises for entrepreneurs, disruptors and engineers who possess a deep passion for emerging technologies.
- Egypt announces 5-year tax exemption for startups: President Abdul Fattah El Sisi has announced a five-year tax exemption for startups, with an aim to boost the country’s ecosystem and retain its talent. Over the first five months of the year, Egyptian startup attracted as much as $426 million in funding, with MNT-Halan leading the fundraise with its $400 million round raised in February.
- The Greek Campus merges with MQR: Workspace provider The Greek Campus merges with MQR, a facilities management services provider. Both located in Egypt, they merger will enable both to diversify their product offerings and benefit from one another’s growing network of startup and corporate clients.
- EDB launches agritech lending programme: Emirates Development Bank (EDB) launched an agritech-focused $27M lending programme, targeting farmers, local producers, equipment suppliers and startups. It offers green- and brownfield project financing, CAPEX and working capital financing, and medium-term loans or working capital amounts of up to AED5 million.
- Acasia Ventures expands to Lagos: Formerly Cairo Angels (Egypt), Acasia Ventures opens a new office in Lagos, in a bid to extend its reach across the African continent and connect with founders and stakeholders on the ground. The office is situated in the city’s Impact Hub building. This follows the inauguration of their Dubai office.
- Bahrain’s Tenmou exits 5 startups: Bahrain’s first angel investment company achieves a 6x return in an average of less than 4 years. Startups that were fully exited include Malaeb App (Sports), Faceki (Cybersecurity). Partially exited include: EatApp (F&B), Unipal (Marketing/consumer services) and The Collective Hub (Coworking). The exit was expedited through Gro Partners Fund’s takeover of Tenmou’s shares
- South Korea and KSA launch $160M fund: The joint fund falls under an MOU signed in November 2022. It was established with an initial investment of $10M in an existing fund of $150M. An additional $160M was raised with participation of Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) and Saudi National Wealth Fund (PIF Jada). South Korean startups will attract a mandatory investment of $10M.
- Jada Fund of Funds in pre-IPO growth fund: Jada Fund of Funds, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested in Bahrain’s Investorcorp, a $500 million pre-IPO growth fund. Launched in 2022, the fund invests in high-growth statups in underserved sectors such as business services, transport and logistics, healthcare and consumer
- SVC invests $30 million in Bedaya Fund II: Saudi Ventures Capital (SVC) invested $30 million in Shorooq Partner’s recently launched $150 million Bedaya Fund II. The fund was launched earlier in March targeting investments in early-stage startups in fintech, software, platform verticals, and digital asset. To date, SVC invested in 38 funds that have invested in 674 companies through 1,257 deals
- Plug and Play to launch $100M fund for Saudi startups: Silicon Valley-based tech investor Plug and Play is in talks with PIF’s Jada Fund of Funds to support the Fund. Plug and Play will contribute 10% of the fund, which is set for launch in January 2024. Plug and Play manages a portfolio of five funds, totaling $500M, and has plans to establish five more
- 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
- Google launches cleantech accelerator: The programme, Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change, aims to back startups in MEA focused on sustainable technology climate solutions, cleantech and green energy. It offers a 10-week, equity-free hybrid program for Seed to Series A startups
- Tech startup incubator DMZ Cairo and Ebank to launch fintech bootcamp: The program will target early-stage Egyptian startups with a defined MVP. Selected startups will have access to mentorship, market linkages, and a chance to compete for a cash prize of EGP200,000, and fast track into the DMZ Cairo incubator programme
- Saudi VMS acquires stake in Egypt’s Cash Cows: KSA-based startup accelerator Saudi VMS acquires minority stake in its Egyptian counterpart, Cash Cows. The move is aimed to bridge the gap between Saudi and Egyptian startups, and launch a joint platform for startups to exchange ideas and connect to investors
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Dubai Chamber Digital