Weekly Startup Ecosystem Overview in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) / 30 September – 6 October

Top News

There were 8 investments in the MENA between 30 September – 6 October:

Investments: 

3 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), 3 Egypt, 1 Morocco, 1 Jordan

Acquisitions: 

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

Sectors Received Investments:

1 Fintech

1 Logistics

1 Human Resource

1 Beauty

1 Game

1 IoT 

1 Marketplace

1 Food & Blockchain

🎯 All-in-one SaaS startup Glamera, which focuses on the beauty industry, raised funding.

Glamera, the platform that provides B2B services to beauty and lifestyle service companies, has raised a $1.3 million Seed round led by Riyadh Angels Investors (RAI). The startup also provides a B2C marketplace where consumers can access beauty companies and book sessions.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $1.300.000

Valuation:

Investors: Riyadh Angels Investors (RAI), Techstars Accelerator, Silicon Valley Venture “Lucrative Ventures”,  Ithraa Venture Capital, 100 Ventures, Angel Investors

Co-founders: Mohamed Hassan, Omar Fathy 

Country: Egypt

🎯 Logistics platform Takhlees raised funding.

The Saudi-based logistics and customs platform has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from undisclosed investors. The venture offers its customers transportation services, freight services, and storage services.

Transaction Type: Investment

Co-founders: Yazeed Al Swailem

Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

🎯 Morocco’s Chari, B2B marketplace, raised funding.

Chari, a B2B platform for local grocery stores in Francophone African countries, raised $1 million from Endeavor Catalyst in its Series A funding round. The startup will enable this investment to begin its transition into the fintech industry by strengthening its expansion and financing the acquisition of Axa Credit, which is subject to central bank approval.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $1.000.000 (10.9 million MAD)

Investors: Endeavor Catalyst

Co-founders: Sophia Alj, Ismael Belkhayat 

Country: Morocco

🎯 Saudi-based Fintech NearPay raised funding.

NearPay, a payment solutions platform raised $3.6M in pre-series A funding led by Vision Ventures. The startup offers solutions such as merchant service providers (MSPs), payment service providers (PSPs), and easy mobile-based soft point of sale (softPOS) services.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $3.600.000

Investors: Hala Ventures, Arzan VC, Palm Ventures, Angel Investors

Co-founders: Mohammed Alaiban, Hamzah Alghamdi

Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

🎯 Mobile game development studio, Cryptyd raised funding.

Egypt-based gaming startup has secured a new round of funding for an unknown amount from existing and new investors.

Transaction Type: Investment

Co-founders: Ahmed Alaa

Country: Egypt

🎯 Egypt-based startup focusing on IoT device production CardoO raised funding.

Egypt-based IoT device and electronic device manufacturer venture CardoO has raised a $660,000 Seed fund with the participation of Sofico Investments, Saudi Arabian angel investors, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by The Alexandria Angels.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $660.000 

Valuation: 

Investors: Alexandria Angels, Sofico Investments, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Angel Investors

Co-founders: Ahmed Adel

Country: Egypt

🎯 HR platform ZenHR raised funding.

Saudi Arabia-based HR management startup ZenHR raised $10 million in a growth round led by the Rua Growth Fund.

Transaction Type: Investment

Investment Amount: $10.000.000

Investors: Rua Growth Fund, Endeavor Catalyst, Angel Investors

Co-founders: Yousef Shamoun, Mohamad Haj Hasan

Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

🎯 Food safety monitoring system Decapolis raised funding.

Fresh Del Monte Produce, a US-based global food production, distribution, and marketing company, has invested in Jordan-based “Blockchain” technology and food safety monitoring system Decapolis. The amount of investment was not disclosed.

Transaction Type: Investment

Co-founders: Abedalrahman Habashneh, Michael Motta

Country: Jordan

🛒 MoneyGram acquires minority stake in UAE-based fintech Jingle Pay

US-based MoneyGram, the world leader in digital P2P payments, has acquired a 12 percent equity stake in UAE’s super application Jingle Pay. It will offer global money transfers through the Jingle Pay app.

Transaction Type: Acquisition

Investors:  MoneyGram

Co-founders: Amir Fardghassemi (Jingle Pay)

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

🛒 Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment company, has acquired a majority stake in NourNet.

Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment company, today Global alternative investment company Investcorp has acquired a majority stake in Digital Transformation Enabler Saudi-HQ Nour Internet for  Communication and Information Technology Company(NourNet).

Transaction Type: Acquisition

Investors: Investcorp

Co-founders: Amjad A. Hafez (NourNet)

Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

🛒 KSA-based Marn, acquired by Online food delivery platform, Jahez.

Online food delivery platform Jahez is the Marn Business Information Technology Co., which integrates digital services from different service providers for businesses. for SR 60 million ($16 million).

Transaction Type: Acquisition

Investment Amount:  $16.000.000 (SR60 million)

Investors: Jahez 

Co-founders: Mohammed Alqifari, Saleh Almohsin(Marn)

Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

 ✏️A Slice of Entrepreneurship 🍰

“Life is like the monkey bars: you have to let go to move forward. Once you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship, be sure to loosen your grasp on old concepts so you can swing your way to new ones.”

  • Leah Solivan, Fuel Capital (General Partner)

Other News:

📌 The Saudi National Technology Development Program has launched the MVPLab program in partnership with Nama Ventures, The Garage, Seedra Ventures, Bunat Ventures, Rawahel by Raz, and the Center for Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE) to support idea-stage entrepreneurs in the kingdom.

📌 Iraq-based incubator KAPITA, the Iraqi Angel Investors Network, helps local startups raise $1 million in investments.

📌Egypt-based VC fund Algebra Ventures has created a $100 million fund to support startups in fintech, logistics, healthtech, edtech and agritech industry verticals. It plans to invest $15 million in startups  by the end of 2022.

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