MENA startups raised USD 125 million in the last month of 2022, taking the year’s total investment to approximately USD 3.6 billion.
MENA startups raised USD 125 million in December across 38 deals. This takes total investment to USD 3.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 13% compared to 2021. 2022 saw a total of 628 deals. This is according to a report by Wamda and Digital Digest.
MENA startups: December slump
The year came to a close with slump in December, investment was down 40% compared to December 2021 and represented a month-on-month decline of 72%.
Fears of an economic slowdown and recession appear to have had an effect on investment, with investors continuing to favor early-stage investments. Late-stage investments appear to have slowed considerably. Seed and pre-Seed startups attracted the largest number of deals.
Egypt accounted for the highest level of regional investment last month, raising USD 45.7 billion over 11 deals. The UAE ranked second, with 10 deals raising USD 31.8 million, with Saudi rounding out the top three, raising USD 31.7 million across 11 deals.
Saudi’s deal count relied heavily on the graduation of 15 startups from the Sanabil 500 Mena accelerator program.
Overall, December’s 32 deals across MENA’s leading markets represented a slight increase over November’s 30 deals.
Agritech on top
The sectoral breakdown contains an anomaly. Fintech has dominated regional investment for a considerable length of time, however, this December agritech came out on top, receiving approximately 31% of the total investments.
Fintech, HR-tech and foodtech combined accounted for 64% of the total investment, raising USD 79.5 million in December. 10 of the month’s deals involved foodtech startups, making it the leading sector by deal count.
B2C startups raised a total of USD 19 million, while B2B startups raised USD 102 million.
Six mergers and acquisitions (M&As) took place in December with the fintech, healthtech, e-commerce, proptech and foodtech sectors.
M&As included Fintech Galaxy’s acquisition of Underlie, Jumalty and Appetito’s merger, PayTabs‘s acquisition of Paymes, Checkme’s acquisition of DoctorOnline, Lezzoo‘s acquisition of Saydo and Cavendish Maxwell‘s acquisition of Property Monitor.
December saw 22 deals involving foreign investment, largely from the US. Saudi investors were the most active, being involved with 31 deals.