2018 proves to be another record year for the MENA startup ecosystem with 366 deals, more investments than ever before in MENA-based startups, and total funding up 31% from 2017.
The 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report does a full deep dive into the MENA startup ecosystem across the region. The table of contents for the 100+ page report can be found here:
● Executive Summary
● Funding Overview
● Country Breakdown: Historical review by industry, funding stage, deals & investors: UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan & KSA
● Industry Breakdown: Historical review by geography, stage, deals & investors: FinTech, E-commerce & Transport
● Funding Institutions: List of Funders, breakdown by stage, list of all new accelerators, Angel Groups and VC funds
● Exits: Historical review and details on all exits in 2018
● Top Deals by Quarter: Commentary and breakdown of top deals by quarter across the MENA region
● Methodology & Definitions
Key insights from this year's report include the following.
Highlights from the full 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report include:
2018 surpassed 2017 in terms of total disclosed funding in MENA
- ● A total of $893M was invested in 2018, an increase of 31% compared to the $679M invested in 2017
- ● 2018 saw 366 deals take place, an increase of 10 (3%) compared to 2017.
UAE remained dominant in 2018, accounting for 30% of the total number of deals in MENA.
- ● Egypt saw the largest increase, going up 7% from 2017 to 2018
- ● Lebanon, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 4% from 2017 to 2018
FinTech saw the highest number of deals in MENA in 2018, with a total of 43 deals
- ● E-commerce came second with 41 deals, followed by Delivery & Transport with 30 deals
- ● Education saw an increase of 11 deals from 2017 to 2018, making it the industry with the largest increase
Top Funding Institutions:
500 Startups was the most active venture capital investor in 2018, and Flat6Labs the most active accelerator
- ● Those 2 institutions invested in more than 40 MENA-based startups in 2018
- ● Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) was the second most active venture capital firm by number of investments in 2018
Exits in 2018:
2018 saw 17 startup exits in the MENA region, marking a decrease of 3 (15%) compared to 2017
- ● 41% of the exits in 2018 were cross-border, showing an international playing field
- ● 24% of the exits in 2018 saw an international (based outside of MENA) acquirer, indicating international appetite for MENA-based startups
Top Funding Rounds:
The top 10 deals increased by $129M from 2017 ($386M) to 2018 ($515M), which marks a 33% increase
- ● With Careem and Property Finder, there were two $100M+ funding rounds in 2018
- ● 70% of the top deals were in startups that are based out of the UAE, with Egypt (Swvl), Kuwait (Boutiqaat) and Saudi Arabia (Unifonic) accounting for 10% each