MENAPT 2021: Top 4 E-commerce rounds

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Following a 3-year consecutive growth, funding in the E-commerce space across MENAPT has grown by more than 190% since 2019. After a slight 13% YoY dip in number of transactions closed by E-commerce startups across MENAPT in 2020, E-commerce startups geared up to close 5% more deals in 2021 YTD than in full year 2020. Over the course of the year, it was global and regional investors like Flat6Labs (Egypt), 500 Global (US), Impact 46 (KSA), Derayah (KSA), and BECO Capital(UAE) that have been backing local E-commerce solutions showing exceptional growth, both in business acumen and tech-integration. In 2021, E-commerce solutions coming out of the region are providing consolidated platforms with FinTech integrations and hyper-localized product offerings, setting the stage for E-commerce excellence in the years to come. 

With 1 week separating us from the final hours of an exceptional year for VC investment across Emerging Venture Markets, the B2B players in E-commerce dominate this year’s top 4 funding rounds in 2021 YTD: 


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Sary- $75M Series C 

Our most recent and highest entry of the year is closed by Saudi-based Sary, the B2B marketplace on a mission of disrupting supply chain solutions. Founded in April 2018 by ex-Careem GM Mohammed Aldossary and his co-founder Khaled Alsiari, Sary connects micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) with a network of wholesalers and manufacturing brands to procure supply efficiently, leveraging world-class technology to cut the friction in the country’s retail supply chain.

The $75M Series C crowned their 3-year fundraising journey from an undisclosed SEED round in 2019, a $6.6M Series A round backed by initial investors Raed Ventures, MSA Capital, and Derayah, to having an unprecedented backing by a consortium of strategic investors. Amongst their veteran network of backers are also, VentureSouq, STV, Sanabil Investments, Wafra, and Endeavor Catalyst

MaxAB- $55M Series A

Even though the Egyptian E-commerce space dropped two ranks to become the third-most funded E-commerce geography in MENA, after KSA ranking 1st and the UAE in second, 2 of the top 4 funding rounds in MENAPT this year were closed by Egypt-based startups. Accounting for almost 58% of all funding in the sector, the oversubscribed $55M Series A round by MaxAB raised the bar for investors wanting to join in on the E-commerce boon in Egypt. Founded in 2018, MaxAB has been introducing leveraged technologies to serve and empower a network of traditional retailers in Egypt’s most under-served geographies. Retailers & suppliers benefit from MaxAB’s end-to-end supply chain solutions and business intelligence tools that allow them to accurately predict, monitor, and control the impact of their strategies in real-time while offering the simplicity of dealing with one supplier with transparent pricing and on-demand delivery. 

MaxAB made large funding strides from their $6.2M SEED round back in 2019. Throughout their scaling journey, MaxAB has set forth to not only ground its dominant position in the B2B retail market, but it is also expanding into neighboring markets with its latest acquisition of Morocco-based WaystoCap. In 3 years of fundraising, MaxAB has aggregated a staggering network of backers including initial investors BECO Capital, 4DX Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, 500 Global, and Endure Capital as well as new additions like Endeavor Catalyst, the IFC, and Rise Capital


Capiter- $33.5M Series A

Coming in third this year is another B2B marketplace leveraging next-generation technologies to maneuver local complexities in the most optimal way possible. Founded in July 2020 by brothers Mahmoud Nouh (former COO and co-founder of SWVL) and Ahmed Nouh, Capiter designed an ingenious hybrid model of an E-commerce marketplace with Delivery services and Financial solutions, driven by data and ingenious Tech. The Cairo-based startup connects retailers and suppliers, leveraging machine learning to refine distribution strategies and increase efficiency. In the fourth quarter of the year, Cairo-based Capiter raises $33M in a Series A round to drive its full potential into play. 

Starting with a Pre-SEED round in October of last year, backed by initial investors Shorooq Partners and Foundation Ventures, Capiter’s latest funding round added a strategic network of backers who’ve invested in MENA’s most anticipated E-commerce ventures like UAE-based Eyewa and up-and-coming ventures like Egypt-based Rabbit. Capiter’s backers included MSA Capital, DerayahQuona Capital, and Accion Venture Lab

Bazaar Technologies- $30M Series A

This year, the Pakistani E-commerce space has surely caught the unprecedented capital deployment across industries, growing more than 300% in funding YoY. This comes amidst a keen investor drive for industries of digitization, capitalizing on rapid internet adoption in Pakistan, with untapped opportunities that have been deemed possible through integrated Tech. Emerging ventures across Pakistan have found immense potential in the SMEs sector given the positive impact of digitization, and Bazaar Technologies led the curve in 2021. The Pakistan-based E-commerce startup has created an ingenious mobile App connecting retailers and suppliers while also providing additional features like digital ledgers. 

In August of this year, Bazaar Technologies raises the second-largest funding round in Pakistan closing in on $30M in Series A funding. From its initial $1.3M Pre-Seed round by initial investors Indus Valley Capital and Alter Global, the Pakistan-based startup will close two rounds to aggregate a strategic group of investors to include Wavemaker Partners, BY Venture Partners (BYVP), Zayn Capital, and Global Founders Capital.  

So here it is, your top 4 E-commerce funding rounds of the year. To uncover all the insight on the shapeshifting E-commerce space across MENAPT checkout our Q3 2021 EVM E-commerce Venture Investment Report and our November Venture Investment Dashboard

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