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 MENA start-ups raise $176 million in May

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MENA start-ups raise $176 million in May

Start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena) have raised $176 million in May 2022 across 42 deals, a decline of 40% month-on-month investment value, but a 62.7% increase year-on-year. Despite a decline in funding value, the deal count saw a 31% uptick versus the previous month.

Egypt-based start-ups led the pack in terms of deal value and volume, raising $81 million across 11 deals, with Paymob leading the way with a $50 million Series B round from Kora Capital, PayPal Ventures, and Clay Point. The value of investments raised by Egyptian start-ups rose by 135 per cent year-on-year.

Start-ups in Saudi Arabia were second with $46 million raised across nine deals thanks to fintech Hyperpay’s $36.7 million round led by Mastercard, followed closely by UAE-based start-ups with $45 million raised across eight deals.

The total funding value was driven by the megarounds such as Paymob and Hyperpay, whose rounds combined make up almost half of the amount raised in May. Overall, the deal volume and value at later stages witnessed a sharp fall, a sign that investors are pulling back on writing larger cheques.

New Comers on Top

Early-stage start-ups mopped up the maximum number of deals with 21 pre-seed and seed stage start-ups raising $50 million, accounting for 28% of the total amount raised, a 10% uptick month-on-month.

Sector-wise, fintech and marketplaces were neck and neck in terms of deal count. However, fintech bagged the most investment with $112 million, followed by marketplaces and logistics, both attracting $24 million and $15 million respectively.

The B2B software sector saw the maximum deals with 24 worth $117 million, followed by the B2C sector which attracted $57 million cutting across 17 deals.

Foreign investors participated in 21 of the funding rounds in May, with US-based investors participating in nine deals. Regionally, it was UAE-based who were the most active investors, taking part in seven deals. Sudan-based 249 Start-ups was the most active incubator last month, investing in seven start-ups.

Start-ups with all-male founding teams attracted $154 million across 25 deals, while start-ups with both male and female co-founders raised $22 million across four deals. Female-led start-ups collected 0.04% of the total raised, amounting to $64,000 across four deals, thanks primarily to three rounds raised by solo female founders graduating from Sudan’s 249 Start-ups incubator programme.

Last month, seven start-ups did not disclose the exact amount they raised. They include Qewam, Teegara, Cloudshelf, iStoria, Natrify, Unipal, and Azom.

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