GCC Startup Ecosystem News | August 2020

This report is also available in a downloadable PDF version via this link: GCC Startup Ecosystem News Roundup – 2020 August

HEADLINE

2020 YTD surpasses 2019 with $693M in funding. As of July 2020, Magnitt reports major increase in funding activity for 2020 YTD (as of July 2020, seeing $693M in funding raised in 270 investment deals, surpassing total funding in all of 2019.

INVESTMENTS

Startup Sector / Industry Location Amount & Round Investors
Sehteq Insurance UAE $20M, Series A 971 Capital
iKcon F&B UAE $5M, Pre-Series A led by Arzan VC, AlTouq Group, and Nazer Group, et al
Paymob Finance Egypt $3.5M, undisclosed led by Global Ventures, and FMO (Netherlands), from A15
Eyewa Consumer services UAE $2.5M, Pre-Series B Nuwa Capital, Wamda Capital, and EQ2 Ventures
Conektr Logistics UAE $800K, Pre-Series A Auris investments
Geek Express Education UAE $520K Pre-Series A National Talents, IM Capital, Lebanese angel investor, and DHV partners
01Gov Government UAE undisclosed amount, Seed Undisclosed
DigiFi Advertising Egypt undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed Loyal VC
Dresscode Fashion retail Egypt undisclosed amount, Seed led by Egypt Ventures
ElGameya Finance Egypt undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed led by AUC Angels, from Cairo Angels, Alex Angels
Glamera Consumer services KSA undisclosed amount, Seed Dual Gate Investment Holding
Makwa Consumer services Egypt undisclosed amount & round Undisclosed
Ordera F&B Egypt undisclosed amount, seed Alexandria Angels, Saudi-based VC Daal, and AUC Angels
Piflow Finance KSA undisclosed amount & round angels and Saudi Venture Capital Company
Shaghalni Human Resources Egypt undisclosed amount, Pre-Series A 138 Pyramids
Starzly Media UAE undisclosed amount, Pre-Seed led by Nama Ventures, from Jabbar Internet Group, Woman Spark and angels

INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

MENA’S Top 3 Funded Real Estate Startups. From Magnitt’s 2019 Real Estate Venture Investment Report

  • Since 2015, a total of 16 investment deals took place over the last 5 years.
  • Furthermore, when comparing 2018 to 2019, deal and funding activity saw a decline, from 7 to 3 investments, and from $123M to $100M, 57%, and 19% respectively
  • MENA-based Real Estate startups witnessed sizable funding rounds (+$100M) over the years, led by EMPG, which received a total funding of $250M raised in two funding rounds — $100M in 2019 and $150M in 2020.

Source: Magnitt.com

Geographic Trend:

  • The UAE remains to be the home of major companies such as EMPG, Propertyfinder, and Bayut, which saw more than 90% of Real Estate investment activity in MENA’s startup ecosystem.

STARTUPS

  • Delivery Hero acquires InstaShop for $360M total base valuation of $360M (on a cash and debt-free basis), marking Delivery Hero’s largest acquisition in MENA.
  • Dubai-based logistics startup Trukkin expands to Pakistan with the launch of its marketplace in Karachi, with plans to launch soon in Lahore
  • Beehive partners with Social Development Bank and Gulf International Bank (GIB) to offer small businesses in KSA funding between $27,000 to $534,000
  • Telehealth startup Doctori (Bahrain) partner with Batelco to provide the latter’s employees, along with the telecom giant’s more than 400,000 customers, with a discounted telemedicine rate
  • Fintech startup Fawry becomes first Egyptian tech company to get $1 billion valuation. During the intraday trading (having gone public in 2019), its share price rose to EGP22.69 which gives it a market cap of EGP 16 billion or $1 billion
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) launches Innovation License for startups, & entrepreneurs which choose to operate within the financial freezone in Dubai, with licensing options starting from $1,500 per year

VC NEWS

  • Amir Farha, the co-founder and Managing Partner of Beco Capital leaves the firm to focus on pre-seed and seed-stage investing
  • KSA VC Squad Partners signs partnership with investment company Ithraa Alamal (KSA) to manage the investment fund in MENA’s tech startups
  • Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) transfers the Ventures Fund of Ghadan 21 initiative to ADQ for the latter to drive equity investments in early-stage companies and VC funds.
  • Saudi Venture Capital Investment Company (SVC) signs investment contract in Merak Technology Ventures Fund , investing in early-stage startups in fintech, e-commerce, data analytics, and business intelligence, as well as in asset management tools sectors.

COWORKING

  • Sheraa and CE-Ventures disburses AED700,000 in equity-free grants to 11 startups in retail, real estate, fintech, travel & tourism, agriculture, education, technology, and creative sectors to help them navigate current economic challenges.
  • KIKKLABB partners with Virtuzone to launch Dubai Dream License package to provide entrepreneurs with business incorporation services, coworking space and amenities on board the Queen Elizabeth II in Mina Rashid, Dubai.
  • Hub71 partners with Silicon Valley-based TechWadi programme to allow for cross-border knowledge sharing, investment deal flow, and market-access for both ecosystems
  • ACCELERATORS / INCUBATORS
  • Flat6labs partners with KSA Angel Investors Network, OQAL, to introduce Flat6Labs network of startups to OQAL’s network of investors

EVENTS UPCOMING

  • 08 Sep | Global Islamic Economy Summit: The opportunities & challenges in the Sukuk market
  • 09 Sep | Gulf Capital Insights Summit

ARTICLES WORTH READING