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Startup impact: Is MENA the next Silicon Valley?

In January 2022, Saudi Arabia financial company Foodics acquired food tech startup POSRocket

With venture funding and startup activity rising yearly, the Middle East and North Africa area is on its way to becoming the next Silicon Valley.

Thanks to the region’s excellent entrepreneurial potential, the funding environment saw enormous growth in 2017 compared to previous years.

With 35 deals, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt emerged as the top-performing nations in the venture capital sector.

According to venture research firm Wamda, the MENA area raised USD 247 million across 46 deals in January last year, a staggering 474% rise from the year before.

Additionally, Bahrain’s crypto fintech firm Rain raised USD 110 million in a series B fundraising round in January 2022, setting a record-breaking USD 15 million in funding.

In January 2022, Saudi Arabia financial company Foodics acquired food tech startup POSRocket. Other noteworthy transactions included Kuwait’s online coffee marketplace COFE App purchasing e-commerce Sippy Beans and the UAE’s property tech firm Huspy buying mortgage consultancy Home Matters.

In February 2022, Saudi Arabia startups raised USD 219 million in 23 deals, accounting for 58% of the fundraising value. This was primarily due to the haulage company TruKKer’s USD 96 million series B round and the online grocery store Nana’s USD 50 million growth round.

Egypt came in second with USD 70 million in 18 sales, followed by the UAE with a total of USD 77.6 million raised through 20 deals.

The most active accelerator was TechStars Riyadh, which invested in over 12 firms. Flat6Labs, situated in Abu Dhabi, saw eight graduates from its Tunisia cohort.

However, the region’s revenue in March 2022 fell by 22% from the previous month to USD 229 million.

However, compared to the same month in 2021, it saw an increase of 71%.

With 31 out of 79 agreements closed in the region during the month, Saudi Arabia investors were the most active, followed by Egypt with 20.

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