Shortlisting MENA’s standout startup industries

MAGNiTT's 2021 MENA Industry Venture Report revealed that the top 7 industries (by funding amount) in MENA together accounted for 74% of total capital invested in 2020, whilst the top 7 industries by deals, accounted for 49% of transactions. 

Access the MENA Industry Venture Report

Despite an overall drop in total transactions last year (496 deals), the funding amount did increase ($1B), with capital being concentrated towards those in top priority sectors, indicating a re-prioritisation of industries due to COVID-19. 

The data additionally highlighted a gradual diversification of the industries involved in digital transformation, also majorly attributed to the pandemic. Several of the listed sectors have dropped or increased in ranking significantly over the past year. 

Discover what industries topped the list by deals and funding amount. 

Top industries by Deals:

1. E-Commerce 2. Fintech 3. Healthcare 4. Delivery & Logistics 5. Food & Beverage 6. Education 7. IT Solutions

Click on each link to access all funding rounds within an industry 

Despite an overall increase in total funding, investors participated in fewer transactions in 2020 across all sectors, and a lot of the deals that did take place were in areas that had been positively impacted by the change in consumer behaviour towards more tech-focused solutions.

For instance, with regards to E-commerce and F&B, consumers were encouraged or more so, with a lack of choice, to make changes to their everyday habits by turning to online digital models to continue leading convenient, non-disrupted lives. Grocery delivery and cloud kitchen startups witnessed an uptick in demand as home deliveries were normalised and consumer trust/appetite increased, but it will be interesting to see if this trend continues in to 2021. Depending on how the situation pans out in the region, will this shift in habits become the norm or will we witness a decline?  

Fintech has reaped several benefits from the surge in a simple switch from Cash on Delivery to online payment methods. Particularly in countries such as Saudi Arabia where the CITC issued strict guidelines to reduce the use of CoD, creating an opportunity for Fintechs to introduce retailers to alternative payment methods.

Elsewhere investors have also been paying attention to more traditional industries such as Healthcare and Education, due to increased access to tech and accelerating digital transformation leading to the introduction of remote online learning, video consultations, and pharmatech. 

Top industries by Funding Amount: 

There was a slight shift in ranking with regards to funding amount, but these were attributed to several, larger deals. 

Check out the top industries alongside the highest funding round in each below:

1. E-commerceJahez$36.5M, Series A

2. Real EstateEMPG, $150M, Series E

3. Fintech - Wahed, $25M, Series C

4. Food & Beverage - Kitopi, $60M, Series B

5. Healthcare - Vezeeta, $40M, Series D

6. TransportSwvl, $26M, Bridge

7. Delivery & Logistics - Fetchr, $15M, Series C

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