Philip Bahoshy, Founder and CEO of MAGNiTT joined Nadia Michel on The Men's Room podcast to discuss the highlights of our recently launched annual 2021 Emerging Venture Markets Report, including the rise of certain industries and why Saudi Arabia was among one of the only countries to see an increase in investments last year. Philip explains how COVID-19 has affected regional startups and investments and delivers his bullish predictions for the ecosystem in 2021.
Listen to the podcast below for expert, data-focused insights on the region's ecosystem
Key takeaways and predictions discussed by Philip:
• It was a record year for investments in the EVM ecosystem, but it was a year of two halves - a strong record H1 which was momentum from 2019, and a drop off into H2.
• Investors moved towards later-stage startups that had proven business models and were likely to weather the storm of COVID-19.
• Early stage/accelerator-based models saw more of a dry up in investments.
• With Turkey and Pakistan as neighbouring geographies to MENA, the opportunities exist for cross-pollination.
• MAGNiTT is looking to increase the transparency and break down the barriers across these markets to see more cross-pollination activity take place.
• KSA will begin to get closer to the UAE as a key driver of innovation in the region.
• Industries such as E-commerce, Fintech, and Education saw the embracement of technology by consumers, and therefore also saw an increase in investment.
• It's an interesting time for talent acquisition; working for a startup is different from working for a large corporate or offline business, therefore it is a mindset shift to move into a dynamic fast-paced environment.
• The success of any startup is the team and culture you're able to build within that and while working from home can be maintained, it is difficult to do so in the long run.
• There will a return of investment activity - conversations for fundraising will begin in the next few months which will close later this year.
• Pakistan will see the largest acceleration and growth from a numbers perspective given the interest from the international space and the policies being driven from the market.
• It will be a record year for exits in 2021 as companies begin to find the new norm and merge to become stronger forces, and international companies seek opportunities in MENA to further their footprint in the region.
Access MAGNiTT's 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report for further, deeper insights driven by numbers on the region's startup space.
The Men's Room podcast is a Western perspective on the East, including conversations with open-minded thought leaders with innovative ideas. Writer and journalist Nadia Michel invites a diverse roster of friends and guests that include the most inspired CEOs, chefs, adventurers, entrepreneurs, musicians, authors, artists, and beyond.
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