MAGNiTT has revamped its monthly dashboard! The February 2019 Dashboard provides a condensed and comprehensive overview of all the startup funding activity that took place in the month, including a summary of countries, industries, funding rounds, exits, investors and top stories. February 2019 saw $28M of total funding in 13 deals.
The February 2019 Dashboard includes a summary and information on:
● Executive Summary & Top News
● Funding Overview
● Country Dashboard
● Industry Dashboard
● Funding Institutions
● Funding Rounds
● Methodology & Definitions
2019 has kicked off to a steady start to the year. While the number of transactions seems lower, this is in part due to a lower number of accelerator programs taking place in Q1 2019 – we have seen a continued flow of VC deals being announced through February. As mentioned in the 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report, this momentum is a continuation of the deal flow announcements in Q4 2018, which continues be positive for the ecosystem. Moreover, we are aware of more announcements that are due in March.
Conference season has also been in full swing. We saw the annual STEP Conference move to February, while 500 Startups hosted their annual retreat in Bahrain and MEVP had their inaugural annual conference. We believe that these are excellent tools for a variety of reasons. The retreat in Bahrain brought a cohesive platform for entrepreneurs to share their challenges and success stories in a relaxed environment, while so-called “warm” leads are made with investors that can act as springboards to future investments. MEVP’s annual event also provided a great networking environment for people in a more intimate setting than a large conference.
Moreover, news flow continues to gain momentum across the region. Bahrain’s Al Waha Funds of Funds made the announcement that $45m of their $100m fund has now been deployed, while Mubadala continues to grow its visibility for its tech fund locally as well as the launch of their investment funds internationally. Initiatives in Saudi Arabia, including the launch of the MiSK Accelerator with 500 Startups and founders getting licensing through SAGIA, highlight a general shift towards a more open marketplace.
Lastly, exits remain a hot topic of discussion. Namshi announced that it had been fully acquired by Emaar Properties in further consolidation in the e-commerce space, while the continued rumours of a “done deal” of Careem being acquired by Uber are awash. This would be a landmark deal for the region, with a rumoured valuation of $3bn, but it remains to be seen whether it comes to fruition.
With Ramadan quickly around the corner, we hope that this positive momentum continues into March and April, as the signs emerge of more later stage deals and foreign interest in the MENA startup ecosystem in 2019.
Philip Bahoshy, CEO and Founder at MAGNiTT
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