Dubai, United Arab Emirates – In the third of their series on the MENA startup ecosystem and to celebrate over 3,000 startups listed on the platform, MAGNiTT today releases its research on the founders of MENA’s top 100 funded startups.
Off the back of a record year of $870m+ in startup investment, MAGNiTT analyzed the backgrounds of the founders of MENA’s most successful startups, ranked by total disclosed funding. The top 100 startups together have raised over $1.42 BN in funding and each startup has raised more than $500k individually.
Key takeaways from MAGNiTT’s research include:
1. Team structure: The 100 Startups, including the likes of Careem, Souq and Fetchr, are made up of a total of 189 founders. Research also shows that:
40% of startups were created by sole founders
· Up to 79% were either sole or two founders which is higher than international comparisons where 69% are made up of teams of 2 or 3 founders
· In MENA, 12% of successful founders are female in comparison to 15% in the EU and 17% in the US
2. Experience: Research showed that on average in MENA, founders had 9 years worth of experience before starting their companies in comparison to the US unicorns that had 6 years.
Founder Philip Bahoshy states “Entrepreneurship has multiple challenges including growing a business, raising funds and developing a strong team and culture. The data highlights that founders in the region have often come from corporate backgrounds. This indicates that the experience and knowledge provides them with the tools to tackle and overcome such issues.” In fact, the research shows that:
· 41% of the startup founders graduated from MBAs including Harvard, INSEAD and LBS
· 35% of founders came from Management Consulting and Banking backgrounds
· MENA founders demonstrate a higher technical background with 48% graduating with IT or Engineering degrees
· 35% of founders previously had startup experiences in the region with Yahoo Maktoob, Dubizzle, Bayt and Zawya alumni making up 8% of the top 100 MENA startup founders
Bahoshy added, “Such individuals are likely to have the cash to bootstrap, experience to deal with the regulatory environment and perseverance to succeed in a nascent ecosystem”.
3. Geography: 68% of MENA startup founders originate from the Middle East, despite many having dual citizenship. The data highlights:
· 38% of MENA’s 100 startup founders are from Lebanon and Jordan with only 16% of startups headquartered there
· While the UAE hosts 50% of MENA’s top funded startups, only 1% of founders are UAE nationals
In conclusion, this latest report raises awareness of key characteristics behind founders of successful startups in the MENA region in comparison to their international counterparts. Bahoshy commented, “While celebrating the tremendous success of the likes of Souq and Careem, both of whom have founders with a wealth of experience, our research highlights areas that can be developed and fostered through policy changes and investment to further help shape the startup ecosystem across MENA.” MAGNiTT continues to drive transparency in the startup ecosystem through data driven research. You can download the full 10 page report on www.magnitt.com.
SOURCE: Zawya - MAGNiTT's latest research reveals that the top 100 funded startups in MENA together have raised over $1.42BN in funding