Startups in Mena raised a whopping $160 million in February this year across 43 deals, driven largely by debt financing. UAE-based startups Yellow Door Energy and Starzplay together raised $56.2 million in debt to fuel expansion plans. Without these two deals, the total raised in February was $104 million, a substantial jump from the $43 million raised in January this year across 37 deals.
Beyond the debt financing rounds, it was Saudi Arabia’s FOODICS that raised the most with $20 million in its Series B round, helping to boost the foodtech sector’s investments alongside UAE-based cloud kitchens operator Kitch, which raised $15 million. Overall, foodtech is attracting growing interest as the region’s food delivery habits continue to rise while restaurants are now settling back into a more stable environment.
Overall, the UAE saw the highest number of investments with 16 deals amounting to $88.8 million, but taking out Yellow Door Energy and Starzplay’s debt round, UAE startups raised $32.6 million, almost $4 million less than the $36.5 million raised in Saudi Arabia across nine deals. Bahrain’s Tarabut Gateway, which raised $13 million helped to push the country’s ranking to third, alongside graduates from the Startupbootcamp and Flat6Lab’s latest cohort.
We saw more pre-Series A and Series A rounds than before and one Series B, while Seed rounds continue to dominate, reflecting the rise in new startups that have emerged over this past year.