Startups in Mena raised almost $110 million across 35 deals in May. While it is a marked drop when compared to April, it is still an impressive amount when compared to the monthly average raised last year. Since February, startups in Mena have continuously raised over $100 million every month, in a sign of increased investor interest and more capital in the market.
Most of this investment is now concentrated in Saudi Arabia, where the two fund of funds - Jada and SVC - have given rise to more venture capital (VC) firms in the country that are now obligated to deploy some of these funds into Saudi Arabia-based startups. As a result, Saudi’s startups can now command higher valuations and thus larger ticket sizes.
In May, nine Saudi startups raised $46.6 million, an amount that is primarily due to Sary’s $30.5 million Series B round. Meanwhile, nine of Egypt’s startups raised $32 million while the UAE once again lagged behind with seven of its startups raising $28.4 million.
The majority of startups that raised investment in May were in the fintech sector, but thanks to Sary’s round it was the B2B e-commerce sector that raised the most.
Reflecting a lack of women-led tech startups in Mena, just $6 million was allocated to a startup founded by a woman (Saudi Arabia-based Gathern), while more than $100 million was invested in male-led startups last month.
Separately, May also saw the exit of UAE-based buy now pay later startup Spotii, which was acquired by Australia's Zip for $16.3 million.