Dtec Ventures brings you a roundup of the startup news from the GCC Ecosystem for the month of August 2019
- Dtec Ventures backed startup Pointcheckout joins three other startups at ADGM’s fourth Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) cohort. Startups will be able to develop and test their innovative solutions within the regulatory Sandbox framework
- Cisco announces intent to acquire Voicea (acquirer of Dtec Ventures portfolio company Wrappup) to strengthen its Webex suite of applications. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2020.
INVESTMENTS | GCC-BASED STARTUPS
- Nana (online grocery platform, KSA) – $6.6 million, Series A, led by MEVP and Impact46
- Rain (cryptocrurrency, Bahrain) – $2.5 million Seed round, led by BitMEX Ventures and Blockwater (Kuwait)
- SINC (workforce management SaaS, Bahrain) – $250,000 Pre-Seed, led by Dubai Angel Investors
- Hazen.ai (Ai-based traffic analytics, KSA) – undisclosed amount, Seed Round, from Wa’ed Ventures
- Loyyal (blockchain enabled loyalty program, UAE) – undisclosed amount & round, from Unblock Ventures, et al
- Mecal (e-commerce, Jordan) – undisclosed amount & round, from Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (Jordan)
- MidChains (crypto asset trading, UAE) – undisclosed amount & round from Mubadala Ventures
INVESTMENTS | H1 2019 HIGHLIGHTS FROM MAGNITT.COM
- According to Magnitt’s H1 2019 MENA Investment Summary, Fintech received the largest number of investments in H1 2019, accounting for 17% of all deals – an increase of 9% compared to H1 2018.
- However, 89% of all FinTech funding rounds were at the early stage, indicating that the industry is still relatively nascent despite its recent rise
- E-commerce investments remain buoyant with $78M in investment, accounting for 12% of total funding in H1 2019
- UAE remained the largest recipient of startup funding in H1 2019 by number of deals, at 26%. However, we have seen the continued emergence of other regional ecosystems, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Tunisia.
- 130 institutions invested in MENA-based startups in H1 2019, up 30% from H1 2018. In addition, 30% of them came from outside the MENA region
- Accelerators continue to grow in prominence with active cohorts in H1 2019, including Flat6Labs (46) and StartupBootcamp (21)
- H1 2019 saw the return of previous international investors, including Endeavor Catalyst, Vostok New Ventures, Kingsway Capital, among others
- New international investors also entered the arena, including China’s MSA Capital investing in the $42M Swvl funding round and Germany’s Global Founders Capital
- Berlin-based e-scooterstartup Circ opens their regional HQ in UAE, launches in Abu Dhabi, becoming the first approved e-scooter in the region
- UAE tech giant G42 Group (Abu Dhabi) invests $65M in Chinese ecommerce platform Jollychic in its Series C+ funding round
- Egypt-based matchmaking startup Harmonica get acquired by US-based Match Group, the holding company of Tinder, OkCupid and Match.com
- Egyptian electronics payment company Fawry officially IPOs in the Egyptian Stock Market
- RiseUp, Egypt-based entrepreneurship events organizer acquires MENAbytes, a KSA-based regional startup publication platform.
- Five fintech startups become the first graduates from Emirates NBD’s Sandbox platform in collaboration with fintech accelerator DIFC FinTech Hive, including Norblock which has partnered with Mashreq bank to launch the region’s first production ready blockchain KYC data sharing consortium
- Hub71 announces 7 more startups joining the hub and benefitting from subsidized housing, office space and health insurance plant
- Hub71 partners with hospitality chain OYO Hotels & Homes to provide accommodation to startups that were granted Hub71’s Incentive Packages
- Early stage investment platform VentureSouq invests in Hong Kong-based digital payments startup QFPay’s latest $20M funding round
- International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group will invest $2.5 million in Sarmayar, Pakistan’s leading VC fund for early-stage startups
ACCELERATOR / INCUBATOR
- ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) launches its energy sector accelerator programme “NEXT”
- Oman-based Sas Accelerator Program concludes its first cohort with their demo day scheduled for 03 Sep.
UPCOMING EVENTS& DEADLINES
- Deadline: Intelak Cohort 6 – 01 Sep
- Startup 101: The path to growth – 03 Sep, Dtec
- SMART SME MENA – 18 Sep, Dubai
- MENA Fintech Hackathon Dubai Bootcamp – 29 & 30 Sep, Dubai
- Entrepreneurship Summit – 30 Sep, Abu Dhabi
- Dubai World Congress for Self-Drive Transport – 15-16 Oct, Dubai