The year began with a rather respectable amount raised in funding at $43 million, across 37 deals. This is $11.5 million more compared to January 2020 when just 21 startups raised investment. After a year of a hard-hitting pandemic, this is a good start indeed.
Fintech is beginning to dominate investments in the region, with 10 deals amounting to $30.9 million. This was led primarily by Abu Dhabi’s Nymcard, which raised $7.6 million in its Series A round, Bahrain’s cryptocurrency exchange Rain, which raised $6 million in its Series A round too and Tamara, the Saudi Arabia-based buy now pay later startup which raised $6 million in its seed round.
As ever, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE dominate in the number of deals, with the latter two also attracting the most in investment. Bahrain managed to raise the third highest amount thanks to the one raise from Rain. Saudi Arabia’s increased presence in the top three is one to keep a closer eye on this year as the country ramps up its entrepreneurship efforts. For now, the investment rounds are focused on the pre-seed and seed stage in the country, but as these startups begin to grow, they will require higher amounts and we will begin to see bigger ticket sizes emerge in the country.
In fact across the board, seed investments dominated with most of the startups raising $100-500,000. This is a trend we believe will continue as new startups are founded and come to market.
We did not include Anghami’s raise, as it has not yet closed its latest round.