Pioneer Investors – As October starts and the third quarter of 2021 is passed, for the first time, the volume of investments in startups in the Middle East and North Africa exceeded $2 billion. Almost half of these investments (i.e., $1 billion) were injected during the third quarter which witnessed several mega financing deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
This volume of investment in the startup sector in this region is undoubtedly huge compared to the number of investments in the past few years. To understand this number, it is enough to consider that only $1.8 billion investments were pumped into all Arab startups between 2013-2016, while it was $1.6 billion for 2017-2018 before reaching about $1.2 billion in 2019-2020.
Regarding the number of startups who have obtained these funds during 2021, we should say that the number of startup companies that received financing during the first three quarters of this year reached at least 373 companies, with confirmed expectations that this number will rise during the last quarter to exceed 400 companies, by the end of the year.
Among this massive number of companies that got funding during the first ten months of 2021, 5 startups that managed to win Mega Deals appear to dominate the entire entrepreneurial scene. The cloud kitchen platform Kitopi in the United Arab is at the top of these companies, which has raised $415 million in funding and was considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East over the past years.
In the second place, Saudi cloud customer service startup Unifonic raised $125 million in funding in mid-September. One week before, the Egyptian multi-disciplinary startup Halan had raised a massive funding round of $120 million, becoming one of the largest investments in startup sector in Egypt this year.
In fourth place came the Saudi financial technology platform Tamara, which specializes in immediate payment and postpaid that raised its first funding round of $110 million in April 2021 to become one of the massively funded startups in Saudi Arabia and the region.
As for the Egyptian “SWVL” company that works in participatory transportation in Dubai, it achieved one of the biggest achievements in the Middle East after launching on the Nasdaq stock market in a deal worth $1.5 billion, along with financing of $35 million in other parts of the deal.