Serrari Group

Startups across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have experienced a substantial contraction in investment funding and deals during the month of September, according to the latest report from Wamda.

Wamda’s monthly investment report reveals that in September, a mere $36 million was raised across 36 deals, marking a staggering 64 percent month-on-month drop and an alarming 82 percent decline compared to the previous year. This downturn in funding has had a ripple effect across the entire region, resulting in declining deal counts and reduced investment amounts.

– Year-to-date figures indicate that total investment in MENA startups has reached $1.8 billion, including $687 million sourced from debt financing. This pales in comparison to the first three quarters of 2022 when startups in the region amassed $2.7 billion, with debt financing contributing $455.7 million.

– The UAE dominated the charts in September, with substantial investments in Fuze and Zero Carbon Ventures, raising $14 million and $5 million, respectively. These deals catapulted the UAE to the forefront in the region, with its startups collecting $27 million over 14 deals.

– Saudi Arabia followed closely, securing $2.7 million across seven transactions. Egypt came in third place, with six of its startups accumulating $2.6 million.

– Fintech remained a highly attractive sector, with six deals amounting to over $16 million. Clean technology and gaming closely followed.

– Business-to-business startups attracted over $25 million in investments, while their business-to-consumer counterparts secured slightly more than $10 million. The number of deals was evenly distributed between these two models.

– Female-founded startups faced significant challenges, securing only $320,000 in grants during the month. In contrast, mixed-gender teams managed $1.65 million over four deals, while male-founded startups dominated with $34 million across 21 deals.

Egyptian AI Startup Intella Secures $3.4 Million

In a groundbreaking development, Egyptian deep tech firm Intella has successfully secured $3.4 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Saudi-based HALA Ventures and Wa’ed Ventures, the venture arm of Aramco. Intella plans to accelerate its expansion into the Saudi market and develop AI models tailored for the MENA audience, relocating its headquarters to Saudi Arabia as part of this strategic move.

Intella’s Voice system achieved an impressive 95.73 percent accuracy rate in Arabic audio testing, surpassing industry giants like Google and IBM Watson.

RedBox Secures $7 Million Series A Investment

Saudi shipping and logistics startup RedBox has concluded a Series A funding round, amassing SR26.25 million ($7 million). The round was led by Saudi-based food delivery company Jahez. RedBox operates a network of smart shipping lockers across more than 50 Saudi cities, enhancing the last-mile delivery experience.

Jordan’s Capifly Raises $1 Million in Pre-Seed Round

Jordanian fintech startup Capifly has secured $1 million in a pre-seed funding round, attracting investments from prominent players like Oasis500, BLDR Ventures, Joa Capital, and Ahli Fintech, as well as angel investors. Capifly offers non-dilutive, Shariah-compliant venture debt for startups and aims to underwrite debt for other financial institutions, further solidifying its role in the digital economy.

This influx of capital will support Capifly’s expansion efforts in Saudi Arabia, positioning the startup to tap into the region’s growing digital economy.

Photo Source: Google

7th October, 2023
Delino Gayweh
Serrari Financial Analyst

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