The State of Tech In­vest­ment in MENA

The Real Value of Dig­i­tal In­vest­ments

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Content - Omar Chris­tidis Founder & CEO Racha Gham­louch Sr. Pro­gram Man­ager


We’re thrilled to share with you the first edi­tion of Arab­net’s “State of Dig­i­tal In­vest­ments in MENA” re­port, the most com­pre­hen­sive re­search on in­vest­ments in tech­nol­ogy star­tups in MENA to date. The re­port has been 2 years in the making, and our team has painstak­ingly col­lected data about more than 50 fund­ing in­sti­tu­tions and 400 deals. While we are aware that there are many deals and in­vestors that are not cov­ered by the re­port, we be­lieve that we have cap­tured more than 70% of the mar­ket ac­tiv­ity, bring­ing the en­tire in­dus­try sig­nif­i­cantly closer to a full pic­ture than ever be­fore. Our am­bi­tion is to up­date this re­port an­nu­ally to high­light mar­ket growth and op­por­tu­ni­ties. We hope that the re­port en­cour­ages more in­vestors to par­tic­i­pate and be more open about their in­vest­ments. We in­vite you to share your data - which will be kept strictly confidential - to in­clude in the next it­er­a­tion of the re­port to be pub­lished in Q1 2016, and which will be up­dated to re­flect deals that took place in Q4 2015, cur­rently ab­sent from the re­port. We also wel­come your feed­back on our anal­y­sis and your ideas for new ways of look­ing at the data. Let us know what you think and help us make this re­port bet­ter and more use­ful for ev­ery­one!


This re­search re­port pro­vides an over­view of the tech­nol­ogy in­vest­ment land­scape in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) re­gion. The first sec­tion fo­cuses on the in­vestor com­mu­nity, and ex­am­ines the avail­abil­ity of fund­ing sources across mar­kets, ticket sizes, and how this has de­vel­oped over time. The sec­ond sec­tion fo­cuses on the in­vest­ments that took place be­tween 2013 and Oc­to­ber 2015, and an­a­lyzes them by mar­ket, ticket size, in­dus­try and gen­der. The aim of the re­port is to pro­vide a holis­tic per­spec­tive on the in­dus­try, iden­tify trends and pin­point un­der­served gaps in the mar­ket. The re­port find­ings are based on data col­lected from 31 in­vestors and ac­cel­er­a­tors in the MENA re­gion, specif­i­cally in the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt, Le­banon, Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia, Morocco, Kuwait, Pales­tine, Tu­nisia and Bahrain. The re­port also ag­gre­gates in­for­ma­tion from pub­licly an­nounced in­vest­ments, and those listed on pub­lic data­bases such as Crunchbase, An­gellist and oth­ers. The re­port an­a­lyzes a to­tal of 404 in­vest­ments in global and re­gional star­tups by re­gional in­vestors, and in re­gional star­tups by global in­vestors. How­ever, due to the pri­vate and pro­pri­etary na­ture of the in­vest­ments, there may be many deals that have not been in­cluded in the anal­y­sis. In the case where in­vest­ments were an­nounced with­out of­fi­cial in­vest­ment val­ues by ei­ther in­vestor or startup, Arab­net has es­ti­mated the val­ues based on history of in­volved in­vestors, age of the com­pany, and stage of the in­vest­ment.


We would like to ex­press our deep­est ap­pre­ci­a­tion to all the in­vestors and ac­cel­er­a­tors, listed be­low, who pro­vided us with all the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to com­plete this re­port. 1. Arzan VC 2. Sil­i­con Ba­dia (Ba­dia Im­pact Fund) 3. BECO Cap­i­tal 4. Bery­tech Fund I 5. Cap­i­talease Seed Fund I / UGFS

(Carthage Busi­ness An­gels) 6. DASH Ven­tures 7. Dubai Sil­i­con Oa­sis Author­ity 8. Fast­for­ward 9. Flat6labs Cairo 10. Flat6labs Jed­dah 11. Flat6labs Abu Dhabi 12. IMENA Group 13. Juice­labs 14. Kafalat ISME Co-fund 15. KAUST 16. KI An­gel 17. Leap Ven­tures 18. Maroc Nu­meric Fund 19. MENA Apps 20. MENA Ven­ture In­vest­ments

(Wamda Cap­i­tal) 21. Mid­dle East Ven­ture Part­ners

(MEVP) 22. OQAL Mem­bers 23. Saned Part­ners 24. Sil­i­con Oa­sis Founders 25. Speed@bdd 26. STC Ven­tures 27. Turn8 28. twofour54 29. Univer­sity Ven­ture Fund (UVF) 30. WIKI START UP 31. Y Ven­ture Part­ners

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