MENA's year of money: 10 notable rounds of 2015

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A big year for MENA startups. (Image via Wamda)

2015 was a rich one in terms of startup investment rounds.

We’ve witnessed two $100 million fundraising rounds (not takeovers) and several tracking closely behind that were in the eight - yes eight - digits.

Wamda covered them all, so take a look at the list below for the most notable investment rounds of 2015.

  1. Goldman Sachs leads new $100M round for Hellofood. In May the investment bank led the global online food delivery platform’s second round this year. Back in March, Hellofood (also known as Foodpanda) raised $110 million from a group of investors, led by Berlin-based ecommerce group Rocket Internet, taking the total investments just this year to $210 million. Hellofood was also an active acquirer in the region, buying food delivery platforms and in February.

  2. UK’s Deliveroo makes its UAE debut. In November Deliveroo announced that it was launching in Dubai, and also that it had raised $100 million in Series D funding, led by the Russian investment firm DST Global and US-based Greenoaks Capital with participation from existing investors Accel, Hummingbird Ventures and Index Ventures.

  3. Careem raises $60M Series C. In November Careem made its biggest statement yet with a round led by the Abraaj Group, alongside Arzan Venture Capital, Al Tayyar, STC Ventures, BECO Capital, Impulse (a subsidiary of Kuwait Investment Authority), Lumia Capital and Wamda Capital. Al Tayyar remains the largest institutional investor.

  4. littleBits makes big in $44.2M funding round. In June, the Lebanses founder of the US based startup said they had secured fuding from a consortium led by DFJ Growth (investors in Tesla, SpaceX and Box). The round included Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Wamda Capital and Grishin Robotics.

  5. $11M Series A round from the US for Dubai-based delivery service Fetchr. Also in June, this not-insignificant sum was part of a funding round led by US-based VC New Enterprise Associates.

  6. Pakistani job marketplace Naseeb Networks raises $6.5M in Series C. It was in May that Naseeb, the parent company of employment marketplaces in Pakistan and in KSA, announced a round led by Vostok Nafta and Piton Capital. It increases to $8.5 million the total amount of cash the company has raised since 2005.

  7. Turkey's Modanisa Islamic fashion ecommerce announces $5.5M investment. In March 2015, the Islamic clothing ecommerce website announced the conclusion of a $5.5 million investment led by STC Ventures (the Saudi telecom’s VC fund) and including Aslanoba Capital (the firm in charge of Turkish angel investor Hasan Aslanoba’s early stage investments).

  8. ArabiaWeather closes a round of $5M. In chilly November the latest investment round in the weather forecasting site was led by Badia Impact Fund and Wamda Capital, and includes DASH Ventures and Dubai-based Jabbar Internet Group. It follows the $2.1 million raised towards the end of 2014.

  1. UAE's JadoPado raises $4M Series A. In November the investment brought the UAE startup’s valuation to just under $28 million. It is JadoPado’s first external round and follows prior cash injections from Al Bogari Holdings.

  2. Jamalon raised a $3.65M round, with Wamda Capital, Arzan VC and Al Qudrah (a Saudi Entity).

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