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Start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raised $297 million in 29 deals in April 2022. This is $2 million less than in March, but a 60% increase on the previous year. Total funding in January-April 2022 exceeded $1 billion, according to a report by Wamda and Digital Digest.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the leaders in venture capital (VC) inflows in the MENA. Startups from Saudi Arabia raised the most money in April with $195 million because of Foodics' $170m Series C round. UAE was second on the list with $61.5 million, while the leader was Millennial Brand's growth round, which brought in $35 million.
Start-ups from Egypt raised $37 million in April, down 57% from March. Proptech Pylon was the top fundraiser in the country in April, bringing in $19 million in a seed round.
The UAE ranked first in terms of number of deals, followed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It is worth noting that the total number of deals fell sharply from the previous month, from 79 investment deals in March to 29 in April.
Early-stage funding continues to outperform large mega-rounds in terms of number of deals: 17 pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups raised $55m in April, representing 18.5% of total funding raised.
Software as a service (SaaS) and e-commerce start-ups accounted for 85% of the investment raised.
The fintech sector excelled in the number of deals, with startups in this area raising $9.8 million in four deals, down 97% from the $135 million raised by fintech startups in March.
B2B start-ups raised more than $223 million in 13 deals, while B2C start-ups raised $70 million in 14 deals.
As for gender, male-founded startups received the bulk of the investment - $259 million in 25 deals - while startups with male and female co-founders attracted $3 million in two deals, accounting for 1 per cent of total capital inflows. Meanwhile, the number of female-founded startups performed well last month, accounting for 12 per cent of the total capital raised, mainly due to Millennial Brands.
The most active investors were from Saudi Arabia. They participated in 13 deals. Investors from the UAE participated in 10 deals. Of the 29 deals completed last month, 14 attracted foreign funding, with US investors taking part in 10 of the deals. The largest concentration of foreign investors was among startups based in Egypt.
Five startups did not disclose financial details of their deals in April. These included Qidz, Remmsh, Rology and Gathern. Wamda and Digital Digest speculated that the first two startups received $100,000 each, while the latter two received $1,000,000.
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