Wednesday 10, May 2017 by Georgina Enzer

MAGNiTT’s Q1 MENA funding report card reveals $36 million in MENA start-up funding

In the launch of MAGNiTT’s new quarterly scorecard on MENA investments, they highlight $36 million 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 $889 million from 120 deals. MAGNiTT is a start-up funding-support, and networking website designed to bring entrepreneurs and investors together.

Key takeaways from MAGNiTT’s Q1 report card include that Q1 Funding seems to have got off to a moderate start to the year with $36 million in funding of 35 deals disclosed from January to March.

The figure of $36 million is similar to Q1 funding in 2015 but well below funding in Q1 2016 with large investments of $275 million in Souq.com as well as $67 million in Wadi.com. According to the report, January saw a strong start to the year $24.7 million in funding and notable investments include the $12 million of Iyzico (Turkey), $5 million in Scriptr (Lebanon), $5 million in Vezeeta (Syria) and $2 million in Liwwa (Jordan) and STEP (Lebanon).

As the ecosystem continues to grow MAGNiTT sees 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.

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 $889 million from 120 deal disclosed
  • Since their #MENAFunding report a further 102 new deals were reported and $41 million in funding between the years of 2014-2016
  • Updated information of all the startup data available on the startup and VC profiles on MAGNiTT

“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,” said MAGNiTT Founder, Philip Bahoshy.

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.

“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,” said Bahoshy.

Exits are key to the growth of the ecosystem, according to Bahoshy.

“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,” he said.

Exits can help sell the success of the region when fundraising.

Notable acquisition in Q1 was Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com and Payfort for $650 million, 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.

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.

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