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After a late entry by Egypt-based SaaS startup Pylon, the number of Egypt-based startups raising $125K in Seed funding rounds led by Y Combinator as part of their summer bach becomes 4. With this new addition, the number of MENA-based startups raising this SEED round has reached 6 up-and-coming startups hailing from Egypt and Morocco.
The Seed funding rounds by the 6 startups come as either a natural continuation to their funding track after closing Pre-Seed rounds, with startups like Amenli, or an additional booster to a journey of scaling that includes expansion and acquisitions with startups like Odiggo and Chari.
As observed in our MENA H1 2021 Venture Investment Report, MENA-based Startups observed a move away from early-stage to later-stage investment in H1 2021, where rounds sized $3M and below saw a decline in both volume and funding. Their share in deals dropped by 12 pp while their contribution to total capital in MENA fell by 6 pp since 2020. As accelerator activity sparks back up, early-stage and SEED investment rounds like the 6 mentioned could be vital for the future flow of deals as we near the end of the year.
The most anticipated out of the team of 6 is Egypt’s on-demand auto-part marketplace Odiggo after securing a $2.2M investment led by Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Plug and Play Ventures, with regional VCs like Seedra Ventures and LoftyInc Capital also taking part. Odiggo gained the attention of big investors for their data-driven, Tech-integrated platform and dashboard solutions as well as for their asset-light, commission-based business model.
Another startup coming out of the MENA region making exciting strategic moves is Morocco-based B2B marketplace Chari. After raising a Pre-Seed funding round also led by Y Combinator and Plug and Play Ventures, with the addition of the venture capital arm of French telecom operator Orange Digital Ventures, Chari acquires FinTech startup Karny.ma to integrate credit solutions in its offerings. Showing business acumen in providing fully integrated procurement solutions for Morroc-based small and medium-sized retailers.
The 6 MENA-based startups are disrupting their industries in their own unique ways. Other startups include Cairo-based Last Mile delivery startup ShipBlu who raised a Pre-Seed round led by Nama Ventures, online insurance marketplace Amenli, and Morroco-based collaborative SaaS value chain platform Freterium.
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