Weekly Startup Ecosystem Overview in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) / 5-12 August 

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In this blog series, we will publish entrepreneurship news from MENA (the Middle East and Northern Africa) region. The countries that we count in MENA are: 

Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Mauritania, Djibouti. 

We will also provide brief information about one of the startup ecosystems from the MENA region each week.

Accordingly, if we examine the entrepreneurial climate in Mena countries, their geographic location gives them access to sizable markets in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The entrepreneurial ecosystem in MENA is flourishing and expanding as a result, the region has seen a significant rise in the number of startups and the amount of funding in recent years.

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region invested a total of $2.8 billion in 639 deals in 2021, according to the “Wamda 2021 Year in review – Investments in Mena” 2021 report, despite market instability, challenges in the global economy, rising borrowing prices, and operational costs.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem of the week: Jordan 

Jordan’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is expanding daily. It is a developing nation with investments from both domestic and foreign sources in its technological innovations and goods. The development of the young population and SMEs in the country over the years is an opportunity for the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jordan is growing with national and international investments in its innovation and technology-based products. the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneursestablishment hip is a good indicator for the improvement of government policies, accelerators, and the shift of investors to this field.

According to the “Wamda 2021 Year in review – Investments in Mena” report, 45 startups received $109 million in investment in the Jordanian startup ecosystem in 2021. 

Increased government support in the future, accelerators, and incubators to accelerate these innovations and support development and investors are excited about the relevant Jordanian startup ecosystem. Accelerator/incubation programs, government support, and integrated partnerships of investors will lead to the development of the information technology sector in the field of innovation and more startups with financing opportunities.

Featured Startups: ArabiaWeather, Arabia, Dumyah Maktoob, Jamalon, Liwwa, Hperpay,  Tamatem, Edexy, Souq.com, Mawdoo3, Ureed, Abwab

Featured Accelerator/Incubator: Changelabs, IBDA3, ShamalStart, Zain Innovation Campus,       AB Accelerator, iPark/Jordan’s Technology Incubator, Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, Spark, MENA Apps

Featured Investors: Dash Ventures, Oasis500, Kingsway Capital, StartLabz,  Relatively Fund, Middle East Venture Partners, Endure Capital, Ahli Fintech, Flat6Labs

StartupBlink Ecosystem Index Score: Jordan

In the system where StartupBlink evaluates startup ecosystems and creates a scoring index, the differences between ecosystems according to the quantity, quality, and business environment measurement of the ecosystem and the ranking of the ecosystems of the countries are provided.

Quantity refers to the number of startups, accelerators, coworking spaces, and startup-related meetups in the ecosystem.

Quality includes traction of over 100,000 entities in all ecosystems (including traffic, domain authority, and customer base), branches of multinational companies, number of employees per startup, number and size of global startup events and conferences, presence of Unicorns, Exits, and Pantheon companies, and more.

Business Environment Score mainly focused on parameters at the country level, since national infrastructure, policies, and legislation generally affect all cities within a country. Diversity index, internet speed, internet freedom, Number of patents per capita, and level of English proficiency are some of the elements that are taken into account for the calculation of the Business Environment Score.

According to a review of the Jordan startup ecosystem, Jordan ranks 4th in the Middle East region according to the StartupBlink – Startup Ecosystem Report 2022, and it ranks 66th in the world.

Top News

There were 9 investments and 4 secondary transactions in the MENA between 5-12 August:


3 Egypt, 3 United Arab Emirates (UAE), 1 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), 2 Pakistan


2 United Arab Emirates (UAE), 1 Egypt 

Private Placement: 

1 United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🛒 KABI Technologies acquired 100% of Bloovo.

KABi Technologies, a Saudi-based HR consulting firm, acquired 100% of the UAE-based algorithm-based online recruitment platform Bloovo in a stock swap transaction. Financial details were not shared.

Transaction Type: Acquired 

Investment Amount:

Investors: KABi Technologies

Co-founders: Ahmad Khamis(Bloove)

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🎯 Dubai-based transportation solutions provider SWVL has announced *private placement and sale of securities with US-based institutional investors.

Established in Egypt in 2017, Dubai-based mobility solutions provider SWVL has entered into an agreement with US-based investors to purchase and sell over 12 million shares, as well as $20 million in securities at $1.65 per share. Last year, the transport startup went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Transaction Type: Private Placement 

Investment Amount: $20.000.000


Co-founders: Ahmed Sabbah, Mahmoud Nouh, Mostafa Kandil, Rafael Coronel

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

**A private placement is a sale of stock shares or bonds to pre-selected investors and institutions rather than on the open market. It is an alternative to an initial public offering (IPO) for a company seeking to raise capital for expansion.”

🛒 Astra Tech acquires the finance app PayBy.

UAE-based technology development and investment group Astra Tech has acquired UAE-based fintech PayBy for an undisclosed sum.

Transaction Type: Acquired 

Investment Amount:

Investors: Astra Tech 

Co-founders:  Abdallah Abu Sheikh (Astra Tech)

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🛒Saudi Egypt Investment Company (SEIC) bought 25% of eFinance Investment Group’s shares.

Saudi Egypt Investment Company (SEIC), a wholly owned entity by PIF, has purchased 25% of the publicly traded shares of eFinance Investment Group for $392 million.eFinance Investment Group is the first publicly listed fintech company on the EGX (Egypt Stock Market) as part of the Egyptian government’s privatization program. (2019) 

Transaction Type: Acquired 

Investment Amount: $392.000.000

Investors: Saudi Egypt Investment Company (SEIC)

Country: Egypt

🎯Offering marketing solutions, Convertedin received investment.

Convertedin, Egypt-based marketing platform for e-commerce brands, received investment.It raised $3 million in seed funding led by Merak Capital and participated by 500 Global and MSAS.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $3.000.000

Investors: Merak Capital, 500 Global, MSAS

Co-founders: Mohamed Fergany, Mohamed Atef, Mustafa Raslan

Country: Egypt

🎯E-commerce platform Sharwa received investment.

Egypt-based social trading platform Sharwa has raised $2 million in a pre-seed investment round jointly managed by Nuwa Capital and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund. The Sharwa team leverages prior experience in strategy, market expansion, operations, and product at Kitopi, Careem, Halan, Capiter, and Delivery Hero’s Hungerstation collectively.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $2.000.000

Investors: Nuwa Capital, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund,  Angel Investors

Co-founders:Alaa Shalaby, Hassan Elshourbagi, Mohamed Hanafy 

Country: Egypt

🎯Agritech startup Produze received investment.

UAE-based farm-to-retail platform Produze has raised $2.6 million in a seed investment round led by Accel. Produze was founded in 2022 by experienced co-founders Ben Mathew, Gaurav Agrawal, Rakesh Sasidharan, and Emil Soman. Ben and Gaurav were a part of the leadership team at Ninjacart, India’s largest agritech startup, enabling new distribution models, customer growth, profitability, and investments. Rakesh and Ben had previously founded a B2C marketplace startup for home-cooked food. Emil, who is the CTO, is a YCombinator alum and was the co-founder at Dockup.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $2.600.000

Investors: Accel, All In Capital, founder/CEOs of Ninjacart, Sammunati, Fashinza, Drip Capital, CityMall, Stellapps, DhanHQ

Co-founders: Ben Mathew, Rakesh Sasidharan, Emil Soman, Gaurav Agrawal

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🎯Everdome, which created a hyper-realistic meta, received investment.

UAE-based metaverse company Everdome has received a $10 million commitment with a structured token subscription deal from GEM Digital Limited (GEM).

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $10.000.000

Investors: GEM Digital Limited

Co-founders: Rob Gryn

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🎯 HR solutions startup Bayzat received investment.

UAE-based HR solutions platform Bayzat has raised an unknown amount of investment from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund [MBRIF]. Bayzat, launched in 2013, was one of the first companies to set up operations in the Abu Dhabi-based technology ecosystem Hub71. 

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount:

Investors: Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund [MBRIF]

Co-founders: Brian Habibi, Talal Bayaa, Tarek Bayaa 

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🎯 OneOrder, which provides logistics services to restaurants with the support of artificial intelligence, received an investment.

Egypt-based OneOrder, the online store that supplies food to hotels, restaurants and cafes, has raised $6.5 million (EGP 125 million) in working capital from Contact Financial Holding.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $6.500.000

Investors: Contact Factoring(Contact Financial Holding)

Co-founders:Tamer Amer 

Country: Egypt

🎯 CyberME Studio receives investment

KSA-based cybersecurity startup CyberME Studio has received investment from the National Capital Cybersecurity Fund.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount:

Investors: National Capital Cybersecurity Fund

Co-founders: Joseph McCray, Rakan Al-Junidi, Nawaf Al-Musaibeeh, Abdulrahman Bajaber 

Country: KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) 


🎯 Pakistan-based Pattern received a pre-seed investment.

Pakistan-based CRM Pattern, which allows Restaurant owners to control their customer relations from start to finish, received pre-seed investment from Deosai Ventures, Sabr Capital and Arbisoft.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount:

Investors:Deosai Ventures, Sabr Capital, Arbisoft

Co-founders:Yahya Humayun, Syed Wajeeh Haider

Country: Pakistan

🎯 Education startup Orbit-ed received a seed investment.

In the field of STEM education, Pakistan-based Orbit-ed, an Augmented Reality (AR)-based interactive learning tool, has raised $500,000 in pre-seed round funding.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount:  $500.000

Investors: Boost VC

Co-founders: Wajiha Habib, Navera Waheed

Country: Pakistan

 ✏️A Slice of Entrepreneurship 🍰

“A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty”

– Eric Reis

The Lean Startup

Other News:

📌 Baims, a Kuwait-based edtech startup, expands to Turkey

📌 Bahrain-based EazyPay and Rain were named by Forbes Middle East among the top 25 FinTech companies in the Middle East for 2022.

📌 14 promising UAE startups have been selected for Beban, Hope Ventures’ entrepreneurship-themed show.

📌 Egypt-based startup BONBELL, which provides food ordering services, is embarking on a $10 million seed funding round.

📌 The Corporate Sprint Accelerator (CSA) program, organized by startAD, awaits finance startups.

📌 US-based blockchain-based video entertainment platform AMP Global Technologies has opened an office in Dubai, UAE.

📌 Iraqi Islamic Bank (IIB) has partnered with MSA Novo, a Singapore-based VC firm, to launch a fund to invest in technology-focused startups in Iraq.

📌 Udrive, a pay-as-you-go car rental startup based in the UAE, is expanding to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

📌 COTU Ventures, a venture capital firm with a focus on early-stage ventures, has raised capital from the Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF). In COTU Ventures’ 2022 portfolio; Supy, Zenda, Huspy.

📌 Snap Inc announced that will launch an office in Qatar.

📌 Technology investment company STV in the Mena region stated in its report “From Startup to IPO: Unlocking a $100B+ Opportunity” that they predict 45+ unicorns and total equity value to exceed $100 billion in the next 8 years.


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