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It looks like things started just on the right note for startups in MENA this year. Collectively, they secured a whopping $277 million in the first quarter alone, according to the Q1 2020 MENA Venture Investment Report.

That’s 2% more than the corresponding figure from 2019. Of course, things could have been even better if it was not for the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy. 

Among the most successful funding rounds in the first two months of 2020 are cloud kitchen startup Kitopi’s $60 million round, Egyptian health-tech startup Vezeeta’s $35 million round, and SellAnyCar.com’s $35 million round.

While there was an increase in capital inflow, the number of deals in Q1 2020 fell 22% to 108. 

However, with most major economies across the world currently in a state of lockdown, it is likely that the startup ecosystem across the region will be hit hard in the coming months. 

“Many businesses and investors will be hit by COVID-19, which may have an effect on their fundraising capabilities in the coming months,” Philip Bahoshy, Magnitt’s Founder and Chief Executive, told The National. 

He added: “The true ramifications will most likely not be seen until a few months down the road, as the fundraising exercise, on average, takes six months for startups in the MENA region.”

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

A highly driven organizing member of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem. And a Project Manager at Matter In Hand with a passion for content creation and empowering communities.