This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: MENA Startup Ecosystem News – March 2022
SWVL debuts in US NASDAQ: Cairo-born, Dubai-based mass transit and shared mobility services provider, SWVL, which was valued at $1.5B, completed its SPAC merger with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital and began trading on the US NASDAQ with an initial offer price of $9.95 per share. Swvl now offers intercity, intracity, business-to-business and business-to-government transport across more than 100 cities in more than 20 countries. The company is planning to expand to several countries over the next six months, including Colombia, Peru, Mexico, South Africa and the US. It has acquired 3 startups to date, and is the second Middle East-based tech startup to list on the NASDAQ via SPAC after Anghami in February.
|STARTUP||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||AMOUNT & ROUND||INVESTORS|
|Tabby||Finance||UAE||$54M, Series B extension||Sequoia Capital India, STV, Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Investment Capital, and Global Founders Capital (GFC)|
|Altibbi||Health||UAE||$44M, Series B||Led by Foundation Holdings, Hikma Ventures, Global Ventures, Dash Ventures|
|Master Works||IT Solutions||KSA||$40M, Undisclosed round||Merak Capital|
|Khazna||Finance||Egypt||$38M, Series A||Led by Quona Capital, from Speedinvest, Nclude, Khwarizmi Ventures, Algebra Ventures, et al|
|Lucky||Finance||Egypt||$25M, Series A||Led by Global Ventures (Nclude fund), PayU, Endeavor Catalyst, VentureSouq, Otf, et al|
|AHOY||Transport & Logistics||UAE||$20M, Undisclosed round||Undisclosed|
|The Giving Movement||Fashion||UAE||$15M, Series A||Led by Knuru Capital|
|Naqla||Logistics||Egypt||$10.5M, Pre-Series A||Led by El Sewedy Capital Holding (SCH), Hassan Allam Holding (HAH), and the Sallam Family|
|Raha||Consumer services||Kuwait||$6.7M, Seed||Undisclosed|
|Justclean||Consumer services||Kuwait||$6M, Undisclosed round||Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC)|
|Haseel||F&B||KSA||$6.6M, Series A||Led by Vision Ventures, from Arzan Ventures, Riad Taqnia Fund, Sky Horizon, Aid for Investments|
|Dukkantek||SaaS Platform||UAE||$5.2M, Seed||Led by Global Founders Capital, from Colle Capital Partners, Wamda Capital, Plug and Play, Comma Capital|
|DailyMealz||F&B||KSA||$5M, Pre-Series A||Saudi Airlines Catering, Hala Ventures, et al|
|Soum||Marketplace (Recommerce)||KSA||$4M, Seed||Led by Outliers Venture Capital and Mazen Aljubeir, et al|
|Eksab||Sports||Egypt||$3M, Seed||Led by 4DX Ventures, from Darwazah Capital, Golden Palm Investments et al|
|Qawafel||F&B||KSA||$3M, Seed||Led by AlSayed Group and Khwarizmi Ventures|
|Alaan||Finance||UAE||$2.5M, Seed||Led by 468 Capital, Global Founders Capital, and Presight Capital et al|
|Funding Souq||Finance||KSA||$2.5M, Seed||Angels: Amal Dokhan, Omar Aljeraisi, Christian Kunz|
|Arib||Finance||KSA||$2.3M, Seed||Led by Merak Capital|
|Baims||Education||Kuwait||$2.2M, Pre-Series A||Led by Rasameel Investment House|
|Yaa||F&B||KSA||$2.1M, Undisclosed round||Tasaru Holding|
|Carasti||Automotive||UAE||$2M, Bridge to Series A||Net Ventures and Rua Growth (KSA)|
|Tygo||Telecoms||KSA||$1.8M, Pre-Seed||Led by Jawla Investments, from BIM Ventures|
|Malaa Technologies||Finance||KSA||$1.7M, Seed||Impact46, Khwarzmi ventures, VentureSouq, WealthWell, angels|
|Encore Pay||Finance||UAE||$1.5M, Seed||GreenHouse Capital(GHC)|
|Quiqup||Transport & Logistics||UAE||$1.4M, Undisclosed round||Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF)|
|SPIDERS||Transportation||KSA||$1.4M, Pre-Seed||Led by Watheeq Capital|
|Circyls||Finance||KSA||$1.3M, Undisclosed round||Crowdfunding (Scooper)|
|Wattnow||Energy||Tunisia||$1.3M, Pre-Series A||Led by Katapult Climate, 216 Capital|
|FlapKap||Finance||UAE||$1.2M, Undisclosed round||Led by A15|
|Kouncel||Education||Egypt||$1.2M, Pre-Seed||Led by Zaldi Capital, from African Development Bank (AFDB), the Academy for Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), Tanmia wa Tatweer|
|Mumerz||Consumer services||Egypt||$1.2M, Pre-Seed||Disruptech|
|Shatablee||Interior Design||Egypt||$1.2M, Undisclosed round||Undisclosed|
|Darent Platform||Real Estate||KSA||$1M, Pre-Seed||Led by Watheeq Proptech Venture|
|Intella||Data Analytics||Egypt||$1M, Seed||Led by Hala Ventures, from Falak Startups, et al|
|Kamel Pay||Finance||UAE||$1M, Pre-Seed||Angels|
|QFIL Solutions||Finance||UAE||$1M, Pre-Seed||Undisclosed|
|WaterSpirit||Biotech||Tunisia||$872K, undisclosed round||Undisclosed|
|Aqarito||Real Estate||KSA||$767K, Undisclosed round||Crowdfunding (Scooper)|
|Flashy||Marketing||UAE||$400K, Pre-Seed||TA Ventures (Ukraine) et al|
|Otida||Health||Egypt||$340K, Pre-Seed||Led by Lofty Inc (US), from Flat5Labs Cairo, Jedar Capital, OQAL Angel Investors, UI Investments|
|Guichet.com||Entertainment||Morocco||$309K, undisclosed round||CDG Invest|
|Welnes||Health||Egypt||$300K, Seed||Led by Flat6Labs, from Samurai Incubate, UI Investments, angels|
|Xpovi||Enterprise SaaS||Egypt||$300K, Pre-Seed||Angels|
|ON Market||Consumer services||Egypt||$215K, undisclosed round||Yasser AlGhamdi|
|InvoiceQ||Finance||Jordan||$190K, Pre-Seed||Ahli Fintech|
|Chefaa||Health||Egypt||Undisclosed||Newtown Partners, Global Brain, GMS Capital Partners|
|IoT-Kids||Education||Iraq||Undisclosed||Iraqi Angel Investors Network|
|ORO||Automotive||KSA||Undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed||Nama Ventures|
|PayMint||Finance||Egypt||Undisclosed amount, Seed||AUR Fintech|
|Nakhla||Agriculture||Iraq||Undisclosed||Led by Euphrates Ventures|
- KSA’s Sary acquires Egypt’s Mowarrid: The B2B e-commerce startup and digital wholesaler Sary acquires Mowarrid, one of the leading B2B FMCG marketplaces in Egypt as part of its strategic move to expand throughout North African markets starting with Egypt.
- Q-commerce Rabbit plans to invest $60M in KSA over the next two years: This follows the company being granted access to operate in the kingdom. Rabbit raised $11M in pre-seed funding in 2021 which was the largest in the MENA for pre-seed round. The company pledges 20-minute delivery of groceries using the dark stores model.
- SHUAA Capital acquires major stake in Souqalmal: SHUAA joins Riyad Capital and UK-based GoCompare which will remain shareholders in Souqalmal. Souqalmal Founder Ambareen Mousa will continue to lead the business as they increase digital offers to develop a personal financial management platform including financial education & awareness
- Myki gets acquired by JumpCloud(US): Lebanon based digital identity management app Myki consolidates its technology and team as it gets acquired by data protection and global tech company JumpCloud. The startup joins the latter’s data protection mission in enabling SMEs to adopt Zero Trust security models.
- Homzmart (Egypt) acquires Berlin-based MockUp Studio: Integration of MockUp Studio’s technology into Homzmart will digitize the whole interior design process, including visualization of furnished homes, and interact with Homzmart’s entire catalog, thus strengthening their value chain.
- KSA’s Taker acquires local player Brisk Delivery: The acquisition will preserve Brisk Delivery’s brand as it becomes a subsidiary of Taker. Brisk’s assets and services will also be integrated into TakerGo service, enabling restaurants of all sizes, with and without delivery fleets to provide and increase the efficiency of their delivery services.
- COFE APP acquires Saudi based “Kaffeen”: Following their acquisition of Sippy Beans earlier this year, COFE APP announced its acquisition of coffee online ordering platform Kaffeen (KSA) as it continues its growth strategy to include KSA, and later this year, Egypt, as their market
- Tutoring platform AlGooru acquires ChillLearn: The acquisition aims to anchor AlGooru’s expansion later on in the region as both startups share a common mission in match-making students with tutors to create a community of learners and dedicated professionals. Consequently, ChillLearn’s team & tutor network have become part of AlGooru.
- DIFC launches AI, coding license: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) and coding licence in cooperation with the UAE Artificial Intelligence Office. The move hopes to attract companies to the DIFC Innovation Hub, which hosts 500+ firms
- Lendo (KSA) obtains SAMAs’s crowdfunding license: The fintech startup obtained the license to operate as a Shari’ah-compliant debt crowdfunding company, with core focus on SMBs debt finance. It plans to introduce new products in the coming months to include SMEs
- Moroccan startup Chari acquires Axa Credit for $22M: B2B e-commerce startup Chari, has acquired Axa Credit, the credit line of Axa Assurance, in a deal worth $22 million. This marks the company’s 2nd acquisition following Karni in 2021, The news comes off the back of Chari’s recently closed seed extension round that saw it valued at $100 million and begin offering BNPL services to its customers
- Dubai issues new law to regulate virtual assets: The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and provide international standards for virtual asset (incl. cryptocurrencies) industry governance to promote responsible business growth in the emirate, the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to regulate the sector, including special development zones and free zones, but excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre.
- E-commerce delivery solution Bosta (Egypt) to expand to KSA: Bosta announced the opening of its first office in Riyadh, following its expansion plans across Middle East. The expansion comes in parallel with Bosta’s completion of its Series B funding round led by Khwarizmi Ventures and Hassan Allam Holding.
- SWVL acquires Berlin-based mobility software startup door2door: The acquisition provides SWVL access to door2door’s market across 100 European cities, and their proprietary Mobility-as-a-Service Software that can be easily integrated into any existing transit network.
Flat6Labs graduates 5 Jordanian startups from Amman Seed Program’s first cohort: Flat6Labs Jordan introduced 5 growth-driven tech startups via their Demo Day. The startups operate across health climate, e-commerce, IoT and education sectors. The startups receive $112K in funding at the end of the 4- month program
- SHUAA Capital launches SHUAA Venture Partners, the $250M venture debt fund: Now the largest venture debt fund in the GCC, it aims to support the growth of regional technology and technology-enabled leaders that are seeking alternative sources of funding without significantly diluting their shareholding
- IFC invests $5M in Egypt’s Disruptech Fund: The fund aims to provide seed capital to up to 25 startups with a particular focus on financial technology services. IFC’s investment in Disruptech is part of IFC’s Startup Catalyst program, which supports the development of early-stage venture capital ecosystems globally
- Shorooq Partners launches $150M fund for early-stage startups: Known as Bedaya Fund II, the fund will target startups in MENAP operating in fintech, software, platform verticals, and digital assets. It is backed by a cluster of regional and global investors, including DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture arm, Dubai Future District Fund, and Bupa Insurance
- Egypt launches Avans Manara fund targeting $109M: Participating banks include Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque du Caire, Ahli United Bank and more. It aims to provide SMEs with direct investments or contribute to investment funds.
- Cyper Capital launches $100 million blockchain-focused fund: The UAE-based private VC firm’s fund will invest in startups in blockchain, crypto and other digital assets. The company is also working on establishing its crypto, blockchain and digital asset hub, set to launch later this year.
- SVC invests in Sadu Capital’s $27M VC fund: Founded in 2021, Sadu Capital’s fund supports early-stage to Series A startups in KSA and wider MENA, particularly those offering B2B solutions.
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