Start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raised $375 million across 81 deals in February 2022, a 51.6% increase month-on-month, and a 134% increase year-on-year.
In its monthly report along with Digital Digest, Wamda, which accelerates entrepreneurship ecosystems throughout the MENA region, Saudi start-ups hauled in the most with $219 million in 23 investment deals, amounting to 58% of the overall funding value, thanks mainly to Trukker’s $96 million Series B round and Nana’s $50 million growth round.
UAE start-ups raised a total of $77.6 million across 20 deals, while Egypt-based start-ups raised $70 million across 18 deals. The markets in these three countries together received 98% of the overall funding value.
Other markets that saw rising momentum were Tunisia and Morocco, whose start-ups raised $1 million and $4 million respectively.
February witnessed a clear uptick in funding across all stages, with a notable rise in the number of Series A investments. Pre-Seed and Seed-stage deals continue to dominate as far as deal count is concerned.
Accelerators Prime Source
Accelerators remain a prime source of funding for early-stage start-ups. Last month, TechStars Riyadh was the most active accelerator, having invested in over 12 start-ups across the region, followed by Flat6Labs, who saw eight of its Tunisia cohort graduate.
Regionally, investors based in Saudi Arabia were the most active and participated in 27 deals, while investors based in the UAE participated in 22 deals. Meanwhile, US investors were the most bullish foreign investors in Mena start-ups, having backed 30 deals out of a total of 35 that saw direct foreign investment.
Logistics Sector Make the Most
Sector-wise, logistics start-ups mopped up the most in February with $120 million, with Saudi Trukker’s and Retailo leading the fund raise programmes. Within logistics, Egypt’s Milezmore, a cloud-based last mile delivery solutions provider, raised $5 million from its compatriot social commerce start-up Brimore.
Eight foodtech start-ups raised $74 million, thanks largely to Nana’s $50 million round for its quick commerce, e-grocery platform. Fintech continues to be an attractive target for investors as startups in the sector raised $67 million across 19 deals.
Start-ups founded by men raised 96% of the $375 million last month, across 69 deals. Less than $4 million was invested in start-ups founded by women, while start-ups co-founded by men and women raised almost $11 million.
Last month, BithTV, Postpay, SiFi, NymCard, Nawah Scientific, Oro, along with start-ups that graduated from the TechStars Riyadh accelerator programme did not disclose the exact amount they raised.