MAGNiTT’s Q1 MENA funding report card reveals a steady start to 2017 with $36M in funding and multiple VCs raising a second fund for the region.




(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) April 3, 2017 – In the launch of MAGNiTT’s new quarterly scorecard on MENA investments, they highlight $36m in funding of MENA startups in Q1 2017 from 35 new disclosed deals. Simultaneously they have updated previous figures for 2014 to 2017 through further research and proprietary data with the record year of 2016 coming in at $889m from 120 deals.

Key takeaways from MAGNiTT’s Q1 report card include:

1. Q1 Funding: Q1 seems to have come in with a moderate start to the year with $36m in funding of 35 deals disclosed from January to March:

·      $36m is similar to Q1 funding in 2015 but well below funding in Q1 2016 with large investments of $275m in Souq as well as $67m in

·      January saw a strong start to the year $24.7m in funding

·      Notable investments include the $12m of Iyzico (Turkey), $5m in Scriptr (Lebanon), $5m in Vezeeta (Syria) and $2m in Liwwa (Jordan) and STEP (Lebanon)

As the ecosystem continues to grow we see the emergence of new VCs in the MENA space as well as new funds being raised by existing VCs including MEVP, WAMDA Capital and BECO capital to name a few. VCs with notable activity in Q1 include Silicon Badia, MEVP, BECO Capital and WAMDA Capital.

2. Continued transparency: MAGNiTT continues to engage with VCs and startups to create transparency in the startup ecosystem across MENA. Through research and proprietary information provided on the platform MAGNiTT adjusted their reporting for 2014 to 2016 funding figures:

·      2016 funding highlighted as $889m from 120 deal disclosed

·      Since their #MENAFunding report a further 102 new deals were reported and $41m in funding between the years of 2014-2016

·      Updated information of all the startup data available on the startup and VC profiles on MAGNiTT

Founder, Philip Bahoshy, states “data transparency is at the core of decision making for MENA stakeholders whether they are Investors fundraising, Corporates looking to create innovation initiatives or Government entities looking to devise policy decision making.” The launch of the quarterly MENA funding scorecard looks to engage with ecosystem players to further increase visibility and transparency on the activity taking place in the region. Bahoshy also notes “that we expect to see a lag in the disclosure of deals as term sheets are finalized and startups are able to disclose deals. No doubt there will be further announcement leading up to Ramadan and into the summer period”.

3. Exits: Exits are key to the growth of the ecosystem. Bahoshy highlights “benefits from exits for Entrepreneurs and Investors. Startups should be optimistic that their companies can succeed and proposer with exit options existing in the region. Simultaneously investors, whether institutional or Angel, begin to see returns on their investments.” This helps sell the success of the region when fundraising:

·      Notable acquisition in Q1 was Amazon’s acquisition of and Payfort for $650m

·      Additional acquisitions include Fetchr’s purchase KRT to further accelerate their international growth in the region as well as Altavia’s purchase of Dekatlon Buzz

In conclusion, the latest report card shows continued funding in the MENA region and raises further awareness and transparency on the MENA regions funding environment. A steady start to the region should see continued growth leading up to Ramadan as further deals are concluded and disclosed.

All data of investments on startups are available on where you are able to track funding history as well as portfolios of the regional VCs.