The UAE startup industry is seeing bright prospects and expects more activity in the second half of 2017. The first half of 2017 has exceeded full-year funding of 2014 and 2015 showing strong signs of ecosystem growth in the region, according to the latest Magnitt report.
The UAE continues to take the lion's share with 30 disclosed deals valued at $230 million and the Mena region has recorded $290 million deals with investments across 88 ventures and will witness strong funding in coming months.
It may be noted that total Mena funding had touched $126 million in 2014 and $ 175 million in 2015. The investments hit peak of $909 million in 2016.
"Last year ended with the announcements of Amazon's bid for Souq and Careem reaching a billion dollar valuation, so the bar is already very high. We expect the rest of 2017 to see a greater influx of capital into the region, which in turn will attract higher-quality entrepreneurs as well as create attractive acquisition targets," said Walid Hanna, Founder and CEO of MEVP.
The investors have preferred sectors like E-commerce which has 16 per cent of the investments followed by 13 per cent in Technology and 10 per cent in fintech.
"This is positive news all around for entrepreneurs and investors showing a healthy appetite for investment in Mena startups. There is generally a lag in reporting of startup funding because of confidentiality concerns and time to close deals and I expect there to be a further flurry of activity after the summer. These positive signs highlight a growing and healthy ecosystem with continued room for improvement," said MAGNiTT's founder, Philip Bahoshy.
"There was a flurry of activity leading up to Ramadan and the summer. The VCs are investing to close out existing funds while simultaneously looking to close new funds which will no doubt create continued momentum into Q3 after the summer," concluded Bahoshy.