Over $1bn piled into MENA-based startups in 2020
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Over $1bn piled into MENA-based startups in 2020

Over $1bn piled into MENA-based startups in 2020

The UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia accounted for 68 per cent of the total deals disclosed in 2020

A staggering $1.031bn was plowed into MENA-based startups in 2020, marking a 13 per cent increase from 2019, startup data platform MAGNiTT has confirmed.

Despite crossing the $1bn mark for the first time, the region’s total deal count pared by 13 per cent, down to 496 transactions last year, the 2021 Emerging Venture Markets Report suggested.

Three innovation hotspots – the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – accounted for 68 per cent of the total deals disclosed in 2020.

The UAE led the pack with 56 per cent of all capital deployed regionally, equalling $579m and with 26 per cent of the deals, with 129 transactions last year.

Egypt stood in second, securing $179m in funding, while Saudi Arabia raked in $152m.

While the UAE maintained its leading position in funding, Bahrain (200 per cent), Saudi Arabia (55 per cent) and Egypt (31 per cent) registered the highest annual increases in 2020.

E-commerce paced ahead in the sector race, securing $162m in capital, while F&B and healthcare more than tripled their funding to $122m and $72m respectively.

In 2020, a total of 243 investors participated in at least one funding round in MENA, with international funds accounting for 22 per cent of all active investment institutions

“2020 was a rollercoaster year that highlighted the importance of leveraging data to make opportunities visible across borders,” said Philip Bahoshy, CEO of MAGNiTT.

“Covid-19 rapidly accelerated the adoption of technology across emerging markets, creating larger markets and more opportunities to scale. By tracking and analyzing startup investments in 19 countries and counting, we have been able to provide real-time intel to governments, founders, and investors to support them in making informed decisions and policies.”

 

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