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Pure Harvest, SWVL and Kitopi Lead the Way on Forbes' List of Most-Funded Startups in MENA

Despite a pandemic-hit year, Forbes reports that investments in MENA startups reached a combined total of $959 million.

It would be easy to look back at 2020 and condemn COVID-19’s relentless assault on the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem, discarding it as the year that saw some startups fold and many struggle. However, 2020 has also been a year of growth and opportunities, with many startups across the region able to pivot and some, even, flourish.

You’d expect investments to be at all-time low, but as Forbes’ 2020 list of the most-funded startups in the region suggests otherwise, with startups raising a combined total of $959 million in funding. There are, of course, eligibility rules for the list: startups have to be at least seven years-old to be considered and they are required to have raised at least $5 million in total funding from external investors, excluding founders’ shares and loans prior to the cut-off date of September 25, 2020.

UAE's agritech startup, Pure Harvest Smart Farms, is the most-funded startup in the Middle East in 2020, according to Forbes' new list of the most-funded startups in the region. Sitting atop the list with $138 million, the startup is well ahead of Egypt’s SWVI, which has been placed in second with $92 million.

Cloud kitchen startup, Kitopi, rounds off the top three with $89 million, while the likes of PayTabs (9th) and Halan (10th) are also included in the top ten. Of the 50 startups listed, eight were founded by women, while on the part of investors, 500 Startups, RAED Ventures and Wamda Capital were the most prolific funders.

You can check out the full list here.

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