Ecosystem News

Startups in Mena raised $338 million in September 2021


Startups in Mena raised almost $338 million across 37 deals in September, a 111 per cent rise month on month and a whopping 3000 per cent rise when compared to September 2020.

For the first time we see Egypt taking the lead in terms of investment amount at $161.5 million across nine deals. Of that, $120 million was raised by super app MNT-Halan. Pipping the super app to the largest amount raised was Saudi Arabia’s Unifonic, a customer engagement platform that received $125 million in a Series B round led by Softbank.

This one deal tipped Saudi Arabia into the second spot, with a total of $132 million raised across nine deals. Meanwhile in the UAE, 11 startups raised almost $40 million with Nomad Homes taking the lead with its $20 million Series A round.

Out of all the deals announced last month, 12 startups raised investment from foreign investors. US VCs were the most active in the region, participating in eight deals. Saudi Arabia-based investors were the most active overall, participating in 13 deals, nine of these deals went to Saudi startups, two to Egyptian and two to UAE startups.  

In a sign of a maturing ecosystem, we are seeing more B2B startups emerge and raise funding across the region. Of the 37 startups that raised investment last month, 20 were in the B2B space, together raising almost $179 million compared to the $158 million raised by the 15 B2C startups. The remaining two were in the consumer-to-consumer segment.

Unifonic’s mega-round propelled the SaaS segment to the top spot in terms of investment value, but it was the e-commerce sector that attracted the highest number of deals. If we combine the different segments of the e-commerce sector (B2B marketplaces, social commerce), the total amount raised stands at $51.8 million across 11 deals.

In what has become an alarming trend every month, we notice the amount of investment allocated to women-founded startups dwindle. In fact, last month an estimated $100,000 was invested in a woman-founded startup, with $313 million going to male-founded teams and just $24.5 million going to startups with male and female co-founders.

Last month seven of the 37 startups did not disclose the amount they raised. These include Pravica,, Logexa, Yegertek, Shiphaly, Coffinado, KESK. We have assigned them a conservative estimate each of $100,000 for their seed rounds.