Startups in Mena raised more than $150 million in October across 42 deals, a 55.5 per cent month-on-month decline in terms of value, but a staggering increase of more than 200 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
Three quarters of the total amount raised went to startups in the UAE, with agritech Pure Harvest raising the largest round at $64.5 million, followed by UAE's crypto exchange BitOasis which raised $30 million in a Series B round. These two deals alone also pushed their respective sectors to the top ranks in terms of deal value.
Much of the funding activity in October was driven by early-stage funding rounds ranging from pre-Seed to Seed with an uptick in pre-Series A rounds.
While the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt continue to dominate the investment space, last month also saw Sudan-based classifieds marketplace AlSoug raising $5 million from Egypt’s Fawry in the first institutional funding round ever raised by a Sudanese startup.
E-commerce and logistics continue to dominate investor interest, a sign of the ongoing rise of online shopping in the region. In healthtech, three fitness and wellbeing startups and three telemedicine startups together raised $10.3 million while sectors like construction, gaming and AI/deeptech also attracted investment.
Startups operating in logistics and e-commerce attracted the largest chunk of overseas investment. US investors were the most active overseas investors in Mena, leading the pack with 11 deals, followed by Germany (five) and France (three). Regionally, it was Saudi Arabian investors who took the lead, investing in 16 deals, while Egyptian investors participated in 10 and UAE investors participated in seven deals.
Of the 42 startups that raised investment last month, nine were founded by women who together raised $9.5 million, accounting for 6 per cent of the total value, a stark improvement month-on-month, but still a disappointingly low amount. Mixed teams also fared better in October raising almost $38 million across six deals, although this was primarily down to BitOasis’ $30 million round.
Last month, five startups did not disclose the amount they raised. These include Lamma, Menuhat, Kuzlo, Nuwah Scientific and Faceki. We have assigned them a conservative estimate of $100,000 each for their rounds.
These monthly reports are a collaboration between Wamda and Digital Digest