The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have taken lead in raising funds for the start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in March 2022, according to a report from Wamda.
Wamda accelerates entrepreneurship ecosystems throughout the MENA region and is a multi-stage, sector-agnostic investment vehicle, focused on partnering with high growth technology or technology-enabled startups.
In terms of deal value, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt took the lead accounting for 93% of the total amount raised in March, the report which was brought out in collaboration with Digital Digest, said.
An amount of $299 million was mopped up across 79 deals during the month, and over half of the funding went to UAE start-ups thanks to fintech tabby’s $54 million Series A round and healthtech start-up Altibbi’s $44 million Series B round, although the latter is now planning to relocate its headquarters to Saudi Arabia to drive its future growth.
However, the total money raised witnessed a 22% decrease month-on-month but a 71% increase year-on-year. This takes the total amount raised in the first quarter of 2022 to $934 million, an increase of 38% compared with the same period last year.
The rise in the number of funds in Egypt is beginning to show, where start-ups have raised the second-highest amount of funding at $86.8 million, with fintechs Lucky and Khazna attracting $25 million and $38 million respectively. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia-based start-ups raised the third highest amount with $39.7 million.
Sector-wise, fintech continues to dominate investor interest, with $135 million raised, accounting for 45% of total investment value. Fintech also saw the highest number of deals, contributing 18 deals to the total deal count. This was followed by healthtech and logistics, which together attracted $83 million across 14 deals, the report said.
The majority of funding value was driven by later-stage investment. Of the $299 million raised, $182.6 million was directed towards startups at the Series A and Series B stages. Meanwhile, Seed and pre-Seed deals dominated the funding landscape in terms of deal count, while the average ticket size at Seed currently stands at $2 million.
Saudi Arabia-based investors were the most active, taking part in 31 deals, followed by investors based in Egypt who took part in 20 deals. Investors in the US remain the most active foreign investors in the region, taking part in 16 deals.
Start-ups founded by men accounted for 87% of the investment raised in March. Start-ups with both male and female co-founders fared better last month, attracting 12% of the $299 million, while female-founded startups received less than one percent.
Start-ups that did not disclose the exact amount they raised include, Nakhla, IoT Kids, WaffarX, Chefaa, and PrintHub. However, Wamda and Digital Digest, assigned them a conservative amount of $100,000.