Growth in investment continued last month as 44 startups across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) raised more than $175 million in April, up $5 million from March.
For the first time, Saudi Arabia topped the list in terms of number and value of startup investments. This was led primarily by Tamara’s $110 million Series A round, the buy now pay later fintech company broke regional records for the largest Series A round ever raised by a Mena startup. Other notable funding rounds in Saudi Arabia came from Quantum and Gazal, which both raised seed rounds in excess of $2 million, highlighting larger ticket sizes from investors in the country.
Egypt also performed well, with 10 of its startups raising $16.4 million, while Kuwait’s $10 million came from just one startup, Cofe, an on-demand coffee ordering platform.
Besides fintech, foodtech and e-commerce were the most active sectors, reflecting ongoing trends induced by the pandemic. The bulk of investments in April were focused on seed rounds, while Falak’s second cohort pushed up accelerator funding.
For the first time, we tracked investments according to the gender of founding team members and just $1.7 million was invested in five women-founded startups, which is less than 1 per cent of the total amount invested in startups in April.