Wamda Research Lab: Insights, reports and interviews from the MENA region.

Data Nuggets

The e-groceries market is currently worth $200 million in the GCC and Egypt, accounting for less than 1 per cent of the e-commerce space and so there is room for rapid growth.

While 58 per cent of consumers in the region still prefer to do their weekly shop instore at large supermarkets, a growing number, about 30 per cent, are taking advantage of the benefits of ordering their groceries through a mobile application or website.

The UAE is the country most comfortable with online food delivery, accounting for 4.81 per cent of the grocery market.

Consumers are spending close to $17 billion on food every year in the UAE, a substantial amount for a population that sits below 10 million. Saudi Arabia's 33 million spend $54 billion while Egypt's 98 million-strong population leads the way with $56 billion.

Data Nuggets

The cost of starting a business is 13.4 per cent of income per capita in the UAE, almost double that of Saudi Arabia

More than 80 per cent of Emirati youth are employed in the public sector

SMEs contribute 30 per cent to the UAE's gross domestic product, the same level as the oil and gas sector

There were two exits valued at over $100m in the UAE from 2012-2016

Data Nuggets

Saudi Arabia's population is one of the world's most connected, with 91 per cent using the internet and a smartphone penetration rate of 73 per cent.

Online sales to Saudi Arabia were estimated at $8.7 billion in 2017 and projected to grow to $13.9 billion by 2020. The major barrier to domestic e-commerce adoption is cash on delivery.

Unemployment among Saudi nationals is around 12.8 per cent, but youth, who comprise about half of the population of 32 million face a more difficult challenge. Unemployment for those aged 20 to 29, stands at 29 per cent.

The total funds available for SMEs – directly or indirectly to tech entrepreneurs – are valued at $3.3 billion, yet, actual investments going into Saudi tech startups are concentrated on the seed stage and deal flows are moderate.

Data Nuggets

The number of entrepreneurship support organizations in the KSA has nearly tripled, growing from 13 between 2006 and 2010, to 36 between 2011 and 2015

Funds constitute about 30% of support organizations in KSA

Most of the funds offer between $0.1 million and $2 million in the seed stage for around 10 percent to 20 percent equity stake

Support organizations are located in Saudi Arabia’s four major cities: Riyadh (54%), Jeddah (29%), Eastern province (10%) and Makkah and Thuwal (8%)

Data Nuggets

Total number of fintech startups launched in MENA: 46 (in 2013) 105 (in 2015) 250 (expected 2020)

Fintech startups raised $100M in 10 years, plan to raise $50M in 2017

4 in 5 fintech startups have 1 or more co-founder with professional experience in financial services

44% of startups partner with corporations, another 44% seek to establish partnerships in future