The month of May was a bounce-back month for venture capital activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as venture funding into the region’s startups reached a $445 million split over 39 transactions, a significant increase from the $7 million raised across 11 acquisitions reported in April.

A notable 153% increase in deal volume was seen year-over-year, but, a 7% decline in deal volume was also noted.

With $422 million raised over 14 deals, representing 90%, the UAE topped the pack. The $350 million loan round from BNLP startup Tabby was a major driver of the funding. With $12 million raised by super-app Snoonu, Qatar moved up to the second rank for the first time, followed by Saudi Arabia with $6 million raised through 15 deals. The total amount raised in the region reduces to $95 million after Tabby's debt round, with the UAE contributing $71.6 million of that.

CHART: Startup funding in the MENA region saw a 97% MoM drop in April 2023
According to data compiled by Wamda, startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raised just over $7 million in April 2023, marking a decline of 97% compared to March 2023 and 99% compared to April 2022. The sharp drop in investment is primarily attributed to the traditional

The graduation of seven domestic startups from the Flat6labs Riyadh accelerator program helped Saudi Arabia top the charts in terms of deal count. 

When it comes to industries, fintech has remained a top choice for VC funding both with and without Tabby's round, while e-commerce attracted the second-highest amount of funding thanks to Squatwolf, a company based in the UAE, and its $30 million round. The sector in question moved up to third place thanks to Snoonu's round.

📊 The MENA region’s startup funding declined by 67% in March 2023
The startup scene in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region witnessed a significant decline in funding, as per the latest report by MAGNiTT, a data platform for startups in the region. According to the report, MENA-based startups raised $247 million across 67 deals in March 2023, marking a

Dealmaking has improved after being badly harmed by unstable market conditions in the later phases of funding. Pre-seed and seed startups continue to account for the majority of deals.

According to the report by Wamda and Digital Digest, 92.8 per cent of the investments went to startups with all-male founding teams, compared to 7.2 per cent for businesses with both male and female founders. In May, only one female-founded startup received funding – a $10,000 grant awarded to Chefaa, an Egyptian health tech firm.