MENA start-up funding increases by 13% to top $1bln


Total start-up investment in the MENA region reached $1.031 billion in 2020, an increase of 13 percent compared to the previous year, but the funds were spread across fewer deals.MAGNiTT, a Dubai-based start-up platform, said the number of deals done in 2020 were down by 13 percent, to 496 registered transactions.Vezeeta, a digital healthcare company founded in Egypt, was the third highest funded at $40 million, Saudi food delivery app Jahez was fourth with $36.5 million, and the UAE’s was fifth with $35 million.For the first time, the start-up platform’s 2021 Emerging Venture Markets Report compared funding data for the MENA region with Pakistan and Turkey, which saw deals signed worth $77 million and $383 million respectively, indicating the growth of Pakistan as a start-up location, and the burgeoning size of the Turkish market.The majority of the $1 billion raised in the MENA region was for deals signed in the first half of the year, accounting for $725 million, compared with $563 million in the first half of 2019.“The ‘COVID-effect’ was felt throughout the ecosystem, and is most clearly reflected when comparing H2 2020 with H2 2019. The second half of 2020 saw $306M (down by 13 percent) invested more...