Complex Made Simple

MENA startups get Series and seed funding Nov-Dec 2021, part IV of V

Supply chain building, management, and facilitation have been an increasingly attractive venture direction for both startups and VCs in the MENA

Raseed, the GCC investment platform for stock trading in the US market, has raised $1.1 million Cairo-based dark store grocery delivery startup Appetito has raised $2 million UAE-based fintech and digital lending platform LNDDO has successfully raised $3 million

Supply chain building, management, and facilitation have been an increasingly attractive venture direction for both startups and VCs in the MENA. The interest lies in the Transport and Logistics (T&L) sector as most recently recorded in the Q3 2021 EVM Transport & Logistics Venture Investment Report. 

In 2021, there was a 209% growth in investments backing T&L startups in the MENA, led by Egypt driving 65% of all funds raised by Q3 2021. 

We feature some of these sectors with the following startups raising funds recently.

1- Raseed- UAE

Raseed, the investment platform for GCC residents enabling access to stock trading in the US market, has raised $1.1 million in a pre-seed round.

Founded in early 2020, Raseed, the go-to platform for Saudi, UAE, and Bahrain investors, facilitates the process of buying and selling stocks on the US stock markets with its commission-free application. Users can join the platform in minutes with no minimum investment requirement. Raseed forged a series of partnerships with leading brokers and verification platforms, to provide secure access to US financial markets and serve as a launchpad towards new investment opportunities.

Raseed is licensed by the Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA), the financial regulator in the UAE, and has a sandbox license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

2- Appetito- Egypt

Cairo-based dark store grocery delivery startup Appetito has raised $2 mn in a pre-Series A funding round as it plans to rapidly scale.

Founded in March 2020, Appetito is a grocery delivery platform that sources products from manufacturers, stores them in its warehouses, and ships them to customers via mini fulfillment centers. Customers can order from its website, mobile app, or social media accounts.

The company secured $450,000 in seed investment in April, and currently operates 7 dark stores in Cairo, a number it plans to increase to 150 by 2024.

3- Telgani- Saudi

Riyadh-based car rental & mobility solution Telgani has successfully raised $2.5 mn in its latest pre-Series A funding round

Founded in 2018, Telgani provides access for individuals to a wide range of car rental agencies across the kingdom, handling the cycle of renting a car through a streamlined experience. Since the launch of the platform, Telgani has agreements and partnerships with more than 50 local and international car rental companies with +500 branches across the kingdom, covering more than 44 cities and 13 airports in Saudi, and partnering with leading car rentals companies such as Budget, Theeb, Hertz, Sixt, and Key Car Rental.

Telgani introduced a drop-off between cities enabling clients to enjoy different destinations in Saudi while being able to drop off their rental car at their last destination. The platform has +230,000 active users and more than 350,000 rental days on the platform since 2018. 

The startup will channel its newly acquired funds to support its platform and expand its go-to-market to cover the wider geographical areas within the region.  

4- LNDDO- UAE

UAE-based fintech and digital lending platform LNDDO has successfully raised $3 mn in its Seed round

Officially authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) under Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) jurisdiction, LNDDO is a unique credit service designed to empower SMEs and encourage them to realize their full potential, nurture their creativity and achieve their goals. LNDDO is offering a ten-time faster turnaround time versus the norm.

Fintech startups in the MENA closed 15% more deals and raised 150% more funds by October 2021 than full-year 2020. In standard cases, applying for a small business loan in the UAE was a lengthy and complicated process, taking 6 to 8 weeks and plenty of documentation.

LNDDO allows SMEs to receive a credit decision in just a matter of minutes, and capital funds can be disbursed and made accessible to small businesses within just a few days.  

Providing easy repayment options, the loans are suitable for digitally forward SMEs in various sectors, provided they have been operating for a minimum of 12 months. The firm also plans to expand to Egypt and Saudi Arabia as early as next year.  

5- Lamaa- Saudi

Lamaa, a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based fintech startup, raised $5.5 mn in seed funding.

The company intends to use the funds to extend its offering and expand into Egypt, UAE, and Qatar in the next few months.

Lamaa is a fintech startup that provides invoice financing solutions for SMEs. Its financing solutions such as Supply Chain Finance & B2B Buy Now Pay Later plans for SMEs aim to create efficient working capital management for suppliers and maximize return on treasury for corporates.