Startups in Mena raised just shy of $160 million in August across 44 deals, taking the total raised so far this year to $1.78 billion. While the amount raised in August is a substantial drop when compared to July, it still marks a healthy amount for the region.
UAE-based buy now pay later startup Tabby raised the most with $50 million in a Series B debt financing round, helping the UAE maintain its top rank in the region where 14 startups raised $83.6 million in total.
As has become the case almost every month this year, startups in Saudi Arabia and Egypt ranked second and third respectively in terms of number of deals and amount raised. More interestingly in August, we have started to see greater activity in the smaller markets, this time in Jordan and Kuwait, two countries whose ecosystems are regaining momentum. The two startups from Morocco – Chari.ma and Freterium – that raised investment were both accepted onto the coveted Y Combinator accelerator programme in the US. They are joined by four others from across the region, the largest Mena-based cohort for YC to date.
August also saw the most Series B investments, perhaps signaling a growing appetite for large ticket investments. Most of this was directed towards fintech, mobility, e-commerce and foodtech – sectors that have all benefited from the pandemic.
Startups founded by all-male teams raised the bulk with $141 million, while women-founded startups raised just $1.2 million in August.
These monthly reports are a collaboration between Wamda and Digital Digest. For startups that do not disclose the amount they have raised, we provide a conservative estimate for their rounds.