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Top 200 funded startups across MENA together have raised over $2.1Bn in startup funding

November 2017

November 29, 2017 | 16:20 | Dubai

To mark 5,000+ startups listed on it’s platform, today MAGNiTT releases it’s latest research to answer the question “How has the MENA investment landscape evolved?”. MAGNiTT has reviewed disclosed investments across MENA’s top 200 funded startups, ranked by total disclosed funding. Their aim was to undertake analysis to answer commonly posed questions such as “How long does it take to raise investment?”, “How much is raised at each round?” and “Who are the active investors in this space?”.

Key takeaways from MAGNiTT’s research include:

  1. Funding evolution by stage: MAGNiTT broke down investments by the stage they were made based on publically available information and proprietary data to discover:
  • Excluding late stage funding, the most amount of investment in MENA’s top 200 funded startups has been focused at Series A with $404m of total investment.
  • On average $300k is raised at PRE-SEED investment, $1.2m is raised at SEED and $4.3m is raised at Series A.
  • Founders are fundraising on average every 12 months after starting their company. Series A investments are closed around 3 years and 5 months after starting while later stage funding takes up to 8 years to secure
  • Institutional Investors have commonly participated at each round of funding with on average 2 VCs participating at SEED round with up 4 Institutions at Series C.
  • To date we have seen 6 exits from MENA’s top 200 funded startups including Souq.com, Glambox, JadoPado, Namshi, Fawry and Carriage.

Founder, Philip Bahoshy, highlighted “We often get asked questions around funding in the region. A lot of founders are not sure how much to raise, how long it will take and what the success has been from other startups. We are looking to create transparency for startups who are embarking on their funding journey. However, it is important to note that each startup must fundraise based on their own business needs and there is no one size fits all.”

  1. Who has been investing and when?: The data shows a maturing market with an increase in the number and the size of deals undertaken. This has clearly accelerated over the last 3 years:
  • 200+ institutional investors have participated in MENA’s top 200 funded startups
  • 500 Startups, Middle East Venture Partners and Wamda Capital have been the most active investors across MENA
  • Breaking down investments by stage sees the emergence of different players. Investors in later stage funding included STC Ventures, Naspers, WAMDA Capital, BECO Capital and Arzan Capital
  • Earlier stage investments saw Middle East Venture Partners and 500 startups being the most active
  • Early Stage investment has seen a steady increase in disclosed average ticket size from $0.6m in 2009 to $1.2m now in 2017.
  • We have only recently seen the emergence of later stage investments over the last 3 years

Bahoshy added, “Early stage funding has shown continued signs of maturity. Interestingly, however, Series A has become the popular stage of investment for MENA investors. This can be explained with with 60% of the success stories founding between 2012 to 2015.” Series B is also developing into a larger and more active market in recent years pointing to positive signs for the development of the MENA ecosystem. However, if the market is to see continued growt Bahoshy highlights the need for further capital injection at all stages of development to ensure startups continue to flourish.

  1. Demographic highlights: In a follow on from MAGNiTT’s MENA Founders report, an additional 100 startups were evaluated as part of the analysis with the following highlights around demographics:
  • 2015 is the year most of the top 200 funded startups were founded with 19%
  • 55% of the top funded startups were all founded within the last 5 years showing acceleration and growth of the MENA startup ecosystem
  • 388 founders make up the top 200 funded startups of which 11% are female
  • 39% of startups have had single founders while 34% had 2 co-founders
  • The UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and KSA based startups account for 90% of total funding in MENA’s top 200 funded startups with UAE based startups accounting for 74%
  • E-commerce attracted 33% of all investment in the top 200 funded startups

In conclusion, this latest report raises transparency around the evolution of the startup ecosystem across MENA. Bahoshy summarizes by saying, “Reaching 5,000+ startups on MAGNiTT is a milestone for the platform. Many don’t realize that there are so many up and coming startups across the ecosystem. We take this opportunity to take stock of where the ecosystem came from, what has already been achieved and look forward to its future while looking to identifying what is required for it’s continued growth and development”.

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