Despite Covid-19 pandemic, MENA startups raise $1bn in financing

Startup funding

Startups from the Middle East and North Africa, (MENA) received an impressive $1.03bn in funding in 2020 according to the report by MAGNITT – the startup data platform.  Cumulatively, over 496 deals were struck, representing a 13% increase in financial allocation granted when compared to the previous year.

Primarily driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a 23% rise in e-commerce deals as funding for the entire sector hit $162 million. The healthcare plus foods and beverages sectors recorded a tripling of funding to $122m and $72m respectively.

Egypt ranked second behind the UAE in the number of deals closed. Cairo accounts for 24% of all deals that took place in 2020. Egypt accounted for 17% of all funds raised in the MENA region in 2020 – coming second to the UAE.

E-commerce activity was 12% of all financing deals closed by startups in 2020. Closely following behind were fintech (12%) and healthcare, transport, food and education, and technology  – each at 5%.


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