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Startups in MENA Secure $101 Million in Funding for August 2023.

Mayssae Ajzannay
Mayssae Ajzannay

2 min

Multiple fund launches and initiatives emerged last month. Notable ones include Endeavour Egypt's XceleRise scale-up program, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's $200 million fund for deep tech startups, and Singapore’s Antler’s $60 million MENAP-focused fund.

Initiatives supporting Palestinian founders, such as Google’s capacity-building program and Pelest Angels, were launched.

Acquisitions noted include Machinestalk's purchase by IoT Squared and Auto-Cure's acquisition by Grinta.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, startups raised $101 million from 26 deals in August, a 6% month-on-month rise. However, this reflects a 73% drop compared to last year.
Saudi Arabia dominated, securing $54 million over eight transactions. Leading the way were Rewaa, an inventory management platform, and travel firm FlyAkeed, which raised $27 million and $15.2 million respectively. The UAE followed, with startups raising $44 million through nine deals. Together, these nations constituted 97% of August's total investments.

Egypt ranked third with $1.5 million, its largest round being $750,000 for HR-tech startup Talents Arena. Tunisia, Morocco, and Palestine ranked fourth to sixth.
Sector-wise, logistics secured the most funding ($36 million) primarily due to Rewaa's Series A round. Traveltech, healthtech, and Web3 followed closely, cumulatively representing 76% of August's total funding. Although fintech ranked fifth in funding, it had the highest deal count, with wealth tech startups being particularly attractive to investors.

August's funding surge was primarily from early-stage rounds. Startups in the Series A phase captured over 63% of investments, while seed-stage firms led in deal numbers with 10. Anghami, based in Beirut and UAE, finalized a post-IPO raise of $5 million from SRMG Ventures after its NASDAQ listing 18 months prior.

B2B startups were the primary beneficiaries, accounting for over half of August’s investments. Consumer-oriented firms secured 27% from nine deals, while B2B2C startups garnered the remaining 17%.

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Only six of the 26 deals drew direct foreign investment. UAE investors led the pack in 10 deals, while Saudi Arabian investors participated in nine.

Of the total funds raised, only $20 million went to startups with at least one female co-founder. Male-led startups secured 80% of August's funds. Notably, Egypt's Talents Arena was the sole female-founded startup that raised capital.

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