MENA startups raised USD 3.94 billion in 2022 across 795 deals, according to startup platform Wamda. Smaller and later stage deals on the up.
MENA startups raised USD 3.94 billion across 795 deals in 2022, according to startup and news platform Wamda. This represents an increase of 24% in terms of total investment and a 22% increase in deal count compared to 2021.
MENA startups: Top 3 markets
The top three markets remained the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The UAE saw the most investments (USD 1.85 billion) across 250 deals, representing a rise of 5% in terms of value. Saudi Arabia raised USD 907 million across 153 deals, a 40% rise in value. Egypt secured USD 736 million in investment, a 70% rise, over 180 deals. Algeria, Bahrain, Palestine, Oman, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen, Sudan and Tunisia also saw a rise in funding and deal count.
Kuwait, Lebanon and Morocco witnessed a downward trend in terms of deal value. Jordan saw the steepest fall, with investment in Jordanian startups dropping by 76% year on year.
Fintech continues to lead, with USD 1.1 billion invested in 2022, almost double that of 2021.The top sub-sectors were neobanks, crowdfunding, open banking and corporate and personal lending.
Cleantech saw a 101% rise from 2021 thanks to Yellow Door Energy’s USD 400 million raise in October. Logistics was the third-highest funded sector, bringing in USD 362 million in funding, fueled by the growth in e-commerce and the need for efficient warehousing and last-mile delivery solutions.
Small and later stage deals on the rise
The number of smaller deals grew in 2022 and there was an uptick in the value of funding rounds raised by later stage startups, which represented over half of the VC activity in 2022. Debt financing also gained traction, with almost USD 500 million raised in debt, an increase of 89% compared to 2021.
Women-founded startups attracted just 1.3% of the total raised last year. Startups co-founded by both men and women raised USD168 million, while startups founded by men attracted USD 3.7 billion (94%) of the total amount raised.
186 co-founders successfully raised investment last year. 694 were first time founders and 312 were second time founders, 124 were third time founders, 39 were fourth time founders, and 17 were fifth time founders.
53% of VC-backed founders held a Bachelor’s degree as their highest educational level, 34% had a Master’s degree, 4% had a PhD. Women founders tended to be more educated. Approximately 36% of the founders received their degrees from regional universities.
Yellow Door Energy, a cleantech firm from the UAE, raised USD 400 million
Tabby, a UAE-based fintech, raised USD 200 million
Pure Harvest, a UAE-based agritech, raised USD 180 million
Foodics, a Saudi-based e-commerce and logistics platform, raised USD 170 million
MNT-Halan, an Egyptian fintech, raised USD 150 million
The UAE’s Fenix Games raised USD 150 million
Algerian superapp Yassir raised USD 150 million
TruKKer, a Saudi logistics startup, raised USD 150 million
Rain, a Bahraini crypto firm, raised USD 110 million
Tamara, a Saudi fintech, raised USD 100 million
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