Here are the technology news, startup, and VC deals we tracked across the Middle East region this week.

  • Israeli cybersecurity firm Pentera (formerly Pcysys) raised $150 million in a funding round led by K1 Investment Management, bringing the company's valuation to $1 billion, with plans to expand into new markets including the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.
  • Iraq-based food delivery app Alsaree3, and its sister company on-demand last-mile delivery platform Al Zajel, have raised a new bridge round totaling $3.2 million, led by existing investors including Iraq Tech Ventures and Innovest ME.
  • Israeli data analytics startup Placer, which provides location-based foot traffic data, has raised a $100 million Series C funding round at a $1 billion valuation.
  • Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) raised $206 million in December 2021 across 44 deals, a 27.5% decrease month-on-month, and a 215% increase year-over-year. Saudi Arabia-based startups received the most investment at a total value of $99.5M. [Wamda]
  • Courier services company DHL Express has opened an $80 million robotic sorting facility near Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, in what seems to be the Middle East's largest robotic sorting centre.
  • Saudi Arabia-based social trading platform Dawul raised $5 million in a seed round led by RAED Ventures, to expand its network across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Draft provides a weekly roundup of the most important tech news across key emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Follow the rest of our coverage @techloy on Twitter.