Top 10 exits of 2015

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Exits here, and here, and here. (Image via Wamda)

MENA finished the year with a bang when it came to exits, as after ten well-earned deals came a final massive buyout of a major stake in Egypt’s Fawry.

A consortium of international investors took the 85 percent stake in the Egyptian electronic bill presentment and payment platform in November.

The consortium was made up of Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), Helios Investment Partners and the MENA Long-Term Value Fund (MENA LTV).

Even though some of the below acquisitions didn’t disclose the full amounts of the deal, they are good news for the region's ecosystem and suggest 2016 could be a promising year.

Check below the eight main exits of 2015:

  1. January: Careem acquires Saudi-based home delivery service Enwani
    Launched in 2011 by a team of Saudi and German entrepreneurs to solve the postal address problem in Saudi Arabia, Enwani (literally ‘my address’) is a data-rich platform that makes a great fit for Careem. In March 2015 Careem also acquired Taxiii, a taxi booking service operating in Casablanca and Rabat.

  2. January: Cashnomix acquired by Singapore firm
    Cloud based platform Cashnomix allows small businesses to collect money early on their invoices, and was acquired for an undisclosed amount by Singapore-based ApexPeak. The takeover was the Singaporean’s first foray into the Middle Eastern market.

  3. February: Rocket Internet acquires Kuwait’s Talabat for $170M, largest MENA tech acquisition since Maktoob
    Founded in 2004, was sold once before by founder Abdulaziz Al Loughani in 2010 to Kuwait London General Trading owner Mohamed Jaafar. It became one of the largest online delivery services in the region covering Oman, the UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, and Bahrain before being acquired in February by Rocket Internet’s Delivery Hero. The site operates with over 1,300 restaurants, including major brands such as Burger King, KFC, Johnny Rocket’s, Hardees, TGI Fridays, and Subway.

  4. February: Ericsson acquires twofour54's playout business
    Ericsson will initially be providing services for nine TV channels broadcasting a mix of English and Arabic content. 

  5. May: Delivery Hero acquires Turkey’s Yemeksepeti for $589M
    Delivery Hero first entered the MENA market in February 2015 with their takeover of the Kuwaiti, which until today was the largest acquisition the region had ever seen.

  6. June: Payfort acquires White Payments
    The acquisition gave Payfort access to White Payments’ technology and team. Payfort said it wanted to integrate White Payments’ easy-to-setup applications into its payment gateway services.

  7. September: Al Ahli Group acquires US based social media company theAudience
    theAudience is a social-media and digital content marketing agency based in Los Angeles. No further details were disclosed, and the deal was an unusual one as it is not often that corporates from the Arab region acquire startups from the US or Europe - usually it’s the other way around.

  8. September: dubizzle acquired by OLX
    Dubai’s classified ads website dubizzle was acquired by OLX for an undisclosed amount. American cofounders Sim Whatley and JC Butler founded the classified ads company 10 years ago, and stepped down in 2013 when they decided to move back to the US. They consequently sold 51 percent of their equity to investor MIH, a subsidiary of South African media multinational Naspers.

  9. October: Rocket Internet acquires Egypt’s Otlob.
    The acquisition was led by Rocket-owned online food-ordering service Foodpanda Group and all details of the deal were not disclosed.

  10. November: twofour54 exits four years investment in SAE Institute to CedarBridge
    The commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi, twofour54, first invested in SAE 4 years ago with the aim of supporting the region’s media. 

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