Start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have raised $160 million in February across 43 deals, driven largely by debt financing, Wamda, a start-ups accelerator, said in a recent report.
Egypt placed fourth among the region’s countries, with total deals worth $11 million, following the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
UAE-based start-ups Yellow Door Energy and Starzplay together raised $56.2 million in debt to fuel expansion plans. Without these two deals, the total raised in February was $104 million, a substantial jump from the $43 million raised in January across 37 deals, according to the report.
Saudi Arabia’s FOODICS raised the most with $20 million in its Series B round, helping to boost the the foodtech sector’s investments alongside UAE-based cloud kitchens operator Kitch, which raised $15 million, according to the report.
“Overall, foodtech is attracting growing interest as the region’s food delivery habits continue to rise while restaurants are now settling back into a more stable environment”, said the report.
The report showed that the UAE has seen the highest number of investments with 16 deals amounting to $88.8 million, not counting Yellow Door Energy and Starzplay’s debt round.
UAE start-ups raised $32.6 million, almost $4 million less than the $36.5 million raised in Saudi Arabia across nine deals.
Bahrain’s Tarabut Gateway, which raised $13 million, helped to push the country’s ranking to third, alongside graduates from the Startupbootcamp and Flat6Lab’s latest cohort.
The report also said that the seed rounds continue to dominate the scene in the region, reflecting the rise in new start-ups that have emerged in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.