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 – 2022 October
MENA startups raise $512M in Q3 2022; VC ecosystem witnesses three consecutive quarters of funding decline in 2022: According to Magnitt’s Q3 Venture Investment Report, Q3 reported the lowest amount of funding for 2022, and the lowest number of deals (446) since Q3 2020. Total funding value is at $2.3B, equivalent to 80.1% of 2021’s funding, with 2 Mega Deals ($100M+) coming from KSA. Egypt, UAE, and KSA keep the top 3 positions, taking up 75% of the region’s funding value. Sector-wise, FinTech continues to lead with 94 deals valued at $747M (yearly increase of 74%).
|STARTUP||SECTOR / INDUSTRY||LOCATION||AMOUNT & ROUND||INVESTORS|
|EPMG||Real Estate||UAE||$200M, undisclosed round||Led by US-based Affinity Partners, KCK, Acacia Partners, Prosus and several other investors|
|Zid||Retail||KSA||$50M, Series B||Led by Impact46, Aramco Venture Capital Arm, Endeavour Catalyst, Global Ventures, Elm Company, Arzam, MSA|
|Classera||Edtech||UAE||$40M, Series A||Led by Sanabil Investments joined by Global Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, 500 Global, Sukna Venture, other investors from Silicon Valley, global family offices|
|MaxAB||F&B||Egypt||$40M, Pre-Series B||Silver Lake, British International Investment (BII), and DisruptAD, existing investors, Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures, Flourish Ventures and Africa Platform Capital|
|Money Fellows||Fintech||Egypt||$31M, Series B||Led by CommerzVentures, MEVP, and Arzan Venture Capital; from Invenfin, National Investment Company (NIC), Existing investors Partech, Sawari Ventures, 4DX and P1Ventures|
|360Vuz||Media||UAE||$20M, Series B||Led by Caruso Ventures, Vision VC Fund, e& capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Webit Investment Network, SRMG, Elbert Capital, Yasta Partners, Faith Capital, Panthera Capital, existing investors|
|Invygo||Automotive||UAE||$10M, Series A||Led by MEV, with participation from AI Rajhi Partners, Arab Bank, Amana Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Signal Peak Ventures and Knollwood Investment Advisory|
|ZenHR||Human Resources||KSA||$10M, Growth Round||Led by Rua Growth Fund with participation of Endeavor Catalyst, existing investors|
|FlapKap||E-Commerce||Egypt||$3.6M, Seed||Bolt by QED, Nclude, Outliers, A15|
|NearPay||Fintech||KSA||$3.6M, Pre-Series A||Led by Vision Ventures; from Hala Ventures, Arzan VC, Palm Ventures, angels|
|Five FS||Fintech||UAE||$3.5M, Seed||Led by Zeyshare Ventures|
|Kenzz||E-Commerce||Egypt||$3.5M, Seed||Led by Outliers Venture Capital, HOF Capital, Foundation Ventures, Samurai Incubate, Angels|
|Cashee||Fintech||UAE||$3M, Series A||Led by Arab National Bank, ANB Capital|
|Nexta||Fintech||Egypt||$3M, Undisclosed round||e-finance (Egypt)|
|i’SUPPLY||Pharmaceutical||Egypt||$1.5M, Pre-Seed||Led by Disruptech Ventures|
|Glamera||Enterprise SaaS||Egypt||$1.3M, Seed||Led by Riyadh Angels; from TechStars Accelerator, Ithraa Venture Capital, 100 Ventures, Silicon Valley Venture, Super Angel investors|
|Chari||E-Commerce||Morocco||$1M, Series A||Endeavor Catalyst|
|Lune||Fintech||UAE||$850K, Pre–Seed||Led by Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF), Flat6Labs, angels|
|CardoO||Electronics||Egypt||$660K, Seed||Led by Alexandria Angels; from Sofico Investments, angels, EBRD|
|Segoon||Real Estate||Egypt||$500K, Pre-Seed||Banque Misr, angels|
|HRcom||Human Resources||KSA||Undisclosed amount, Seed||Smasco, Professional Recruitment, Squadio, Angels|
|Roboost||Logistics||Egypt||Undisclosed Amount, Seed||Falak Startups, AUC Angels, Follow-on Funding from Flat6Labs|
|Ruba||Education||Kuwait||Undisclosed Amount, Pre-Seed||Undisclosed|
|Vezeeta||Healthcare||Egypt||Undisclosed Amount, Growth Round||Gulf Capital, VNV Global|
|Wafii||Fintech||Jordan||Undisclosed Round, Seed||Led by GMS Ventures & Investments, angles|
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) commits $300M to STV: The commitment of $300M to Saudi venture capital firm STV is on top of an earlier $500M investment which served as STV’s capital when it was set up in 2018. The funding will be used to further fuel STV’s mission of backing and scaling the region’s digital champions.
Algebra Ventures completes first close of second fund: Algebra Ventures successfully exceeded its $90M fund target by raising $100M with an expected final close in Q1 2023. Their goal is to invest $15M in startups by the end of 2022 with a focus on Egypt alongside expanding in East and Wes Africa.
US-based Modus Capital acquires Agile Ventures: Modus Capital acquires KSA-based venture builder Agile Ventures, making the former’s official expansion and setup in the Saudi market Modus’ KSA-based builder will have several industry-agnostic Venture Building teams, and one exclusively focused on developing the country’s gaming industry
IM Ventures’ SOS Fund invests in 11 Lebanese startups: The $12M Save Our Startups (SOS) fund was created under USAID’s Lebanon Investment Initiative to support the startups and overall investment ecosystem during the current economic crisis in Lebanon. The fund gathered several institutional investors incl. MEVP,BY Venture Partners, Cedar Mundi, and ma: e its first investment in 11 ICT sector startups.
Mastercard invests in Nclude: The strategic investment follows Nclude’s $100M fundraise from the Bank Mist, National Bank of Egypt and the Bank of Cairo. This strategic investment will support early and growth stage fintech and fintech enabled companies to grow
Taylor Wessing launches MENA Venture Capital & Corporate Technology Practice: Tier 1 British VC firm, Taylor Wessing LLP, acquired a leading VC legal team in the MENA region headed by Abdullah Mutawi. This transaction will enable them to serve the regional technology and Venture Capital ecosystem.
MBRIF provides $680K guarantee to Avani Eco: The UAE based cleantech company Avani Eco has been granted a funding from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF). The objective of the firm is to use technology to combat global epidemic of plastic pollution
Amazon opens new office in Riyadh, launches initiative to train Saudis: Amazon Reported its new office in the KSA capital, Riyadh, which houses employees from various sectors of the company’s operation. The company aims to support the social and economic growth of the company that aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030.
BitOasis partners with Mastercard: The UAE-based company working on a cryptocurrency trading platform announced its partnership with Mastercard to develop the crypto card programs. The objective of the latter is to launch a crypto-linked card for customers to convert their cryptocurrency holdings to fiat currency.
MoneyGram acquires minority stake in Jingle Pay: MoneyGram announced a minority acquisition in the UAE-based company Jingle Pay. This partnership will allow the target’s consumers to use the Jingle Pay app while benefiting from MoneyGram’s global payment rails and near real-time capabilities.
Dubai’s Aramex buys US e-commerce MyUS: The Dubai-listed company Aramex announced the acquisition of the Florida-based E-Commerce company Access USA Shipping LLC (dba MyUS) to help the acquirer to grow cross-border its express business by increasing and diversifying its customer base and expanding coverage. The transaction was valued at $265M as an all-cash deal.
Unifonic acquires Sestek: The acquisition provides the KSA-based company, Unifonic, with immediate access to “Conversational AI and Analytics” solutions. The combination of Unifonic and the Istanbul-based R&D-focused AI-Powered conversational automation company will also enable Unifonic to achieve a better global customer engagement offering such as global contact centre technology
Kavak merges with Carzaty: The first Mexican unicorn company Kavak (valued at $8.7B), a data-driven platform for used cars, merges with Oman-based digital car buying platform Carzaty. The merger marks Kavak’s expansion to GCC. They revealed plans to invest $130M over the next two years to establish the largest car operations and reconditioning center in the region
MBRIF provides $680K guarantee to Avani Eco: The UAE based cleantech company Avani Eco has been granted a funding from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF). The objective of the firm is to use technology to combat global epidemic of plastic pollution.
VaIU acquires minority stake in fintech Kiwe: Egypt-based fintech Valu acquires local startup Kiwe, the first social payment app that facilitates onboarding the unbanked segment in Egypt, for an undisclosed amount. This move will support VaIU’s mission to fuel the growth of cashless transactions and widen its client base of young individuals.
SWVL launches clean mobility solutions in Switzerland: The public Egypt-founded company and UAE-based mobility startup decided to expand its services to Switzerland under a different brand name BUX through 81 established digital stops for consumers. SWVL became listed on Nasdaq via a SPAC merger deal for a share price of $9.95 and is trading at $0.84 now with a total valuation of $114M.
Fresh Del Monte partially acquires Jordanian Agritech Decapolis: Decapolis, a Jordanian and UK-based technology startup that provides a blockchain-driven traceability technology, sold 39% of its equity to the world’s leading company in fruits and vegetables. The two companies plan to roll out Decapolis Food Guard (DFG), a blockchain-based traceability solution from planting to distribution, across all Fresh Del Monte business segments
ArabyAds acquires IndaHash: The acquisition comes close on the heels of ArabyAds’ recent $30 Million Pre Series B funding round led by AfricInvest. Global influencer platform IndaHash has a strong presence in major several cities by working on marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola, Samsung and Adidas. The acquisition will enable ArabyAds with access to enter indaHash’s market.
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
Dubai Chamber launches new training academy to immerse digital startups in the metaverse: In partnership with the SEE institute, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy launches the ‘Future of the Digital Economy: Business in the Metaverse’ Academy, that offer would provide 30 businesses with practical knowledge and tools they need to build in the metaverse and leverage Web3 to their benefit. Upon completion of the program, participants will benefit from mentorship support in Dubai, and gain access to a free sustainable co-working space,
Iraqi Incubator KAPITA helps startups raise $1M: Kapita’s Iraqi Angel Investment Network (IAIN) successfully helped raise more than $1 million worth of investments for six startups. Funding through the network was raised for a variety of sectors, including health care, last-mile delivery, e-commerce, and Agri-tech. The startups are six startups are Teami, Nakhla, Razi Care (formerly Tabib Baghdad), Hi-Express, and Orisdi
Tech Entrepreneurs supported by new $53M Saudi initiativ: Saudi National Technology Development Program launches a new program MVPLab to support the launch of 1000 minimum viable product prototypes and transform them into emerging technology companies by providing, financials, knowledge and guidance. The $53M worth of incentives are planned to be provided over the next three years.
Hub 71 launches platform to expand capital access to startups: Called Tech Barza, the new platform will facilitate access to startups by regional family offices to help accelerate deal flow. Family offices invited to join the exclusive capital club will benefit from access to a suite of offerings including pitch days, joining investor networks, invitations to events and business forums led by Hub71’s strategic partner Mubadala Investment Company, in addition to setup support within ADGM, and access to Hub71’s programs and VC partners.
WORTH THE READ
- Developing a Fintech Ecosystem in Kuwait | MAGNiTT
- Technology and Innovation: Driving Financial Inclusion in MENAP | MAGNiTT