Last year saw 366 investment deals in startups based the Middle East and North Africa, totaling to $893 million of funding.
MAGNITT, MENA’s leading data platform tracking the region’s startup ecosystem, today released their annual 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report, which provides an in-depth analysis of startup funding across the Middle East and North Africa. The report highlights strong growth with a record number of transactions and an increase in total funding across MENA-based startups, up 31 percent from 2017.
The UAE has maintained its dominance over the ecosystem, with 70 percent of the region’s total funding in its pockets. This coherence comes in result to continued government support, corporate venture interest and growing investor appetite for startups. Moreover, 30 percent of the region’s transactions were made in to UAE-headquartered startups in 2018.
However, Egypt was the fastest growing ecosystem in 2018; receiving the second highest number of deals at 22 percent of all deals, up 7 percent from 2017. Lebanon, ranked third by number of transactions with 10 percent, watching its deal flow drop by 4 percent year-over-year.
“2018 saw more international investors enter the foray than before, new accelerator programs created the region, multiple government initiatives spurring innovation and established regional Venture Capital firms closing out new funds to deploy further capital," says Philip Bahoshy, founder and CEO MAGNITT. “This is an extremely positive signal. As startups mature and grow, 2018 has seen more later stage investment deals at Series B and beyond than ever before and we expect this trend to continue into 2019 as startups scale to get closer to exits.”
The MENA region watched its startups seal 366 investment deals, totaling to $893 million of funding; up from $679 million in 2017. The number of deals is up 3 percent compared to 2017, showing continued appetite in startups from the region.
When excluding the outlier investments in UAE-based Souq.com and Careem, MAGNITT highlights that 2018 was a record year in terms of funding, similarly up 31 percent to $693 million invested in MENA-based startups. This is higher than any previous year on record.
Main Image: Philip Bahoshy, Founder and CEO of MAGNITT.
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