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This is the last stretch of the summer vacation and the market is embracing it.
Cartlow acquired Melltoo. EmiratesNBD launched a metaverse accelerator, while IGDA expanded to Riyadh. Anghami and Swvl share their H1'2022 results. And PIF doubles down on big tech stocks in the US. 

💰 Startup Investments: $10.2M was invested across 3 MENA-based startups this week, bringing the total of venture capital funds invested this August to $63.5M across 14 deals. 
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 INVESTMENTS

Dukkantek, UAE-based eCommerce enablement Saas, raised $10M in pre-series A funding led by BECO Capital and joined by Rocketship, Colle Capital, Comma Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos Ventures, and Wamda Capital. The startup just closed a $5.2M seed funding round in March of this year and says it is working with 13M small and medium retailers across the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, and Saudi.

🚀  Quick Investments

Appetito, Egypt-based grocery delivery startup, partners with Purity Information Technology, Saudi-based IT company, to fund its expansion to Saudi Arabia. Appetito says this is part of a $25M fundraising plan to aid its expansion, however, doesn’t clarify the terms of this agreement.

Levers, Saudi-based accounting & financial dashboard, joins Y Combinator’s Summer 2022 cohort. The startup was founded in 2022, and joins 2 other Saudi startups in the same cohort, Drahim and Erad. (AR)

 ACQUISITIONS

Cartlow, UAE-based pre-owned electronics platform, acquired Melltoo, UAE-based second-hand marketplace, for an undisclosed value. Carlow was founded in 2019 and had raised $18M in series A funding in June. Melltoo was founded in 2014 and will be entirely absorbed into Cartlow as part of the deal.

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 SECTOR NEWS

💰 Funds and Programs

EmiratesNBD launched a global accelerator program for metaverse startups in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive, and Microsoft, with the aim to enhance customer experience for the new virtual economy. The ten-week program is looking for startups that are developing a tech-stack to shift for 3D, creating augmented customer experience in the metaverse, and decentralized payments infrastructure.  

G42, UAE-based technology subsidiary of Mubadala, launched a $10B fund, G42 Expansion Fund, a global technology growth fund formed in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG). The fund, which will be managed by a subsidiary of G42 and will operate as a private equity investor to invest in late-stage companies in computing and communications technologies, intelligent mobility, clean tech and renewables, digital infrastructures, new materials, multiverses, fintech, healthcare, and life sciences.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Canada-HQ international non-profit membership organization for game developers, announced a new official IGDA chapter in Saudi Arabia, IGDA Riyadh. The organization has over 150 chapters globally including Egypt and the UAE in MENA.

 PUBLIC MARKETS

Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has acquired $7B worth of US-based stocks including, a $64M stake in Alphabet, $433.6M in JPMorgan Chase, and $507M in Zoom. It also increased its stake in Meta, Paypal, Amazon, Electronic Arts (EA), Lucid Group and others.

Anghami filed its preliminary results for H1’2022 and according to the filing, revenue increased by 29% YoY to $21.1M, while active users increase 46% to 19.5M users. Also, Arabic music streams now account for 60% of total music streams, a 20% increase YoY.

Swvl filed its preliminary results for H1’2022 and according to the filing, revenue increased by 3.2x YoY to $40.7M, from over 40.1M bookings (3.7x growth YoY). The company also said that cumulative bookings on the platform have now crossed 112.5M bookings.

 REPORTS

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) published the ‘National Payments Usage Study’ that surveyed consumers, businesses and government entities on their use of various modes of payment. According to the report, cash payments constitute 43 % of all payments by consumers in the Kingdom in 2021 for the first time, while cashless (mobile, card, NFC, etc) payments constitute the remaining 57%. Businesses have also seen a shift, with 16% of business transactions conducted in cash in 2021, down from 49% in 2019. Meanwhile, 99%+ of all outgoing payments from the government to consumers, businesses and other government entities were mainly delivered through credit transfers. [report]

Callsign published ‘The Digital Trust Index’ report which surveys consumers globally about their attitudes towards online services, including consumers in the UAE, Saudi, Qatar and Bahrain. According to the report, 56.3% of MEA-based respondents say that online and digital services can be trusted. The number one reason for lack of trust in online services for MEA respondents is previous experience with online fraud (21.1%), other people’s negative experience with online services (20.6%), and lack of confidence in using the online or digital services safely (16.1%). The top factor contributing to trusting an online service is a good digital experience (user experience) on the platform or service (36.4%). [report]  

 POLICY

🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development stated that skilled workers in the kingdom must obtain a license to work in the commercial sector as of June 1, 2023 across 81 professions. Licenses will be verified by checking educational qualifications or experience and skills. Exact professions and skills not specified yet. 

 

 FURTHER NEWS

Solutions by STC received approval from the Saudi General Authority For Competition to acquire a $158M stake in Giza Systems Co., Egypt-based systems integrator that designs and deploys industry-specific technology solutions for asset-intensive and vital industries.
 
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