Updated figures from 2016 show that it was a record year in MENA startup funding with $889 million acquired from 120 disclosed deals. Three notable acquisitions include Amazon’s purchase of Souq and Payfort for $650m in Q1 2017.
Five notable investments include the $12m of Iyzico (Turkey), $5m in Scriptr (Lebanon), $5m in Vezeeta (Syria) and $2m in Liwwa (Jordan) and STEP (Lebanon).
MAGNiTT’s new quarterly scorecard on MENA investments highlight $36m in funding of MENA startups in Q1 2017 from 35 new disclosed deals.
Key highlights from Q1 2017
- $36m is similar to Q1 funding in 2015 but well below funding in Q1 2016 with large investments of $275m in Souq as well as $67m in Wadi.com
- January saw a strong start to the year $24.7m in funding
- Notable acquisition in Q1 was Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com and Payfort for $650m
- Additional acquisitions include Fetchr’s purchase KRT to further accelerate their international growth in the region as well as Altavia’s purchase of Dekatlon Buzz
As the ecosystem continues to grow we see the emergence of new VCs in the MENA space as well as new funds being raised by existing VCs including MEVP, WAMDA Capital and BECO capital to name a few. VCs with notable activity in Q1 include Silicon Badia, MEVP, BECO Capital and WAMDA Capital.
MAGNiTT founder, Philip Bahoshy, said: “Data transparency is at the core of decision making for MENA stakeholders whether they are investors fundraising, corporates looking to create innovation initiatives or government entities looking to devise policy decision making.”
Bahoshy added: “We expect to see a lag in the disclosure of deals as term sheets are finalized and startups are able to disclose deals. No doubt there will be further announcement leading up to Ramadan and into the summer period”.
Exits enable growth of the ecosystem
Bahoshy spoke about benefits from exits for entrepreneurs and investors. He said: “Startups should be optimistic that their companies can succeed and proposer with exit options existing in the region. Simultaneously, investors, whether institutional or Angel, start to see returns on their investments.”
The report shows continued funding in the MENA region and raises further awareness and transparency on the MENA regions funding environment. A steady start to the region should see continued growth leading up to Ramadan as further deals are concluded and disclosed.