MENA startups are now a magnet for new funding.
The startup ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is booming, with $704 million invested in a record 564 deals in 2019, an increase of 12% in funding over the prior year, according to a recent report by Magnitt, a research network based in the United Arab Emirates.
Five years ago, a Middle Eastern startup pipeline barely existed; today, it is gaining confidence and maturing. Magnitt reported that last year broke all records with 27 exits and an average deal size at $1.9 million, up 7% from 2018. The region also witnessed its first unicorn exit as US giant Uber bought rival car-hailing company Careem for $3.1 billion.
Not so coincidentally, Magnitt reported that the Middle East is starting to show up on the global tech map. Last year, over 200 institutions invested in MENA startups, up 33% from 2018. But as more companies reach later stages of the startup cycle, new funding needs arise, opening opportunities for