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The slow summer months have ended, and investment and acquisition deals are hot this week. Tamara raised $100M in series B funding. Huspy acquired two mortgage brokerage firms in the UAE, and ValU acquired PayNas. Noon is now the new parent of Namshi. Google Pay launched in Qatar. Saudi embraces tourism with a new law. Finally, Reports on Private Equity, Entrepreneurship, 5G in MENA.

💰 Startup Investments: $138M was invested this week in 10 MENA-based startups, led by Tamara's $100M in series B funding. This brings the total funding in August to $201M across 24 deals. 
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Tamara, Saudi-HQ BNPL startup, raised $100M in series B funding led by Sanabil Investments, and joined by Coatue, Shorooq Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and The startup was founded in 2020, and says it has over 3M active users on its platform. Tamara also says it is in talks with lenders to raise debt financing as well, indicating that this round is primarily an equity-investment.

ArabyAds, UAE-HQ advertising intelligence platform, raised $30M in pre-series B funding from AfricInvest’s AfricInvest Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV. The company was founded in 2013 in Egypt, and has since moved HQ to the UAE and launched offices in Tunisia and Jordan. It will use the funding to expand to new markets.

🚀  Quick Investments

  • Zywa, UAE-based neobank for teens, raised $3M in seed funding at a $30M valuation from Goodwater Capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Rebel Fund, Trampoline Venture Partners, Zemu VC, and angel investors.
  • SubsBase, Egypt-based subscription and invoices platform, raised $2.4M in seed funding led by Global Ventures, and joined by Hala Ventures, P1 Ventures, Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Plug and Play, Ingressive Capital, Camel Ventures, Falak Startups and Arzan VC.
  • Mr Mandoob, (Saudi) on-demand logistics startup, raised $1.33M in funding at a $26M valuation through equity crowdfunding via Emkan Alarabiya. (AR)  
  • Ala Darbi, (Saudi) logistics company, raised a $1M seed funding round from undisclosed angel investors. (AR)  
  • Cargoz, (UAE) on-demand warehousing solution, raised a pre-seed funding round from Nama Ventures, value undisclosed.
  • Sponix Tech, (Qatar) sports technology company, raised funding from Aser Ventures, value undisclosed.  
  • OBM Education, Egypt-based edtech startup, raised a six-figure investment round from EdVentures. 
  • Mintroute, (UAE) online vouchers and cards’ aggregator, raised funding from Razer Gold, value undisclosed.   


Huspy, UAE-based digital financing proptech startup, acquired two UAE-based mortgage brokerage firms, Just Mortgages and Finance Lab. Just Mortgages was founded in 2018 and Finance Lab in 2020, each company comes with extensive relationships with banks and the market. These mark Huspy’s third acquisition in 2022.

ValU, Egypt-based BNPL owned by EFG Hermes, acquired PayNas, Egypt-based employee management and benefits platform for SMEs, for an undisclosed value. PayNas was founded in 2019, it holds an Agent Banking License that allows SMEs to digitize wage payments in partnership with Banque Misr and is powered by Visa. PayNas had raised $708k in equity funding to date according to Crunchbase.

AlMaya Group, UAE-HQ retailer, acquired a majority stake in Conektr, UAE-based FMCG B2B Marketplace, for an undisclosed value. Conektr was founded in 2017 and had raised $800k in pre-series A funding from Auris Investments in 2020. It says it currently supplies 7,000 grocery outlets in the UAE.

Emaar sells, UAE-HQ fashion eCommerce platform, to for $335.2M. Emaar had first acquired a majority share in in 2017 and completed its acquisition of in February 2019. Emaar’s founder and chairman is also the founder of According to ecommerceDB, Namshi’s net sales in the UAE were $249M in 2021, while net sales in the UAE were $169M.  


Celonis, US-based enterprise saas startup, raised a $400M series D extension round led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). This brings the total of the series D round to $1B at a $13B valuation. The company was founded in 2011 and has built an execution management system that helps businesses eliminate inefficiencies that is used by leading companies like AstraZeneca, Bosch, Coca-Cola and Uber.


💰 Funds and Programs

BeyondCapital partners with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) under the RYSE project, to support startups with refugee impact in Jordan with funding up to $40k.

The Algerian Startup Fund signed an agreement with the country’s General Directorate of the Treasury to secure a commitment of $411M to finance startups in each region of the country (58 regions). The fund will finance startups with up to $1M in funding, with approximately $7M allocated per region.

Orascom Financial Holding (OFH), Egypt-HQ financial services group, announced a plan to launch a venture capital (VC) fund, according to a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), with a capital of $15M to $26M. Details about the fund and its management have not been disclosed.

FOO, UAE-HQ B2B SaaS solution provider, partnered with Paymentology, UK-HQ card issuer-processor, to launch a digital-first virtual card platform for businesses in the region.

Cwallet, Qatar-based fintech startup, joined Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) Sandbox Program. QCB’s endorsement of the trial is provisional upon CWallet issuing its mobile money wallets, in partnership with a QCB-licensed bank and providing money transfer services via QCB-licensed exchange companies.

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has announced the readiness of banks to officially launch Google Pay in the country after completing the necessary requirements.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) granted two new open banking startups licenses to operate under its regulatory sandbox, Lean Technologies and Mod5r.

ChatFood, UAE-based online ordering platform, announced a partnership with Careem Express, the logistics arm of Careem, to provide access to their delivery fleet services from within the Chatfood system.



S&P Global published ‘2022 Private Equity Survey: Spotlight on Middle East and Africa’ which gauges the sentiments of professionals in the sector on its outlook for the year and trends. According to the survey, 43% of investment professionals in the sector report that they have not adopted a digital transformation strategy yet, and 43% are in the early stages of adoption. Only 28% of investors are actively seeking investments in companies with a good ESG track record. Consumer sectors (retail and products) are the top category (52%)  that professionals are expecting to invest in, followed by information technology (48%) and Healthcare (45%). published ‘Entrepreneurship in the MENA 2022’, a survey conducted across MENA in partnership with YouGov to identify the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship regionally. According to the survey, given the choice, 66% of survey respondents would like to be self-employed or have their own business, this preference is highest in Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan where over 70% of respondents share the sentiment. The top reasons that respondents are attracted to self-employment or entrepreneurship are personal fulfillment and freedom to choose a work-life balance, followed by monetary gain, and the ability to contribute to the community. 70% of respondents are planning to hire for their business in the next year (the survey was conducted in late June through July, so within the inflation period). [report]

OpenSignal published ‘Benchmarking the GCC 5G Experience — August 2022’ which measures the 5G experience for consumers. According to the report, the UAE tops the GCC 5G rankings for 5G Download Speed, and 5G Peak Download Speed, while Qatar tops the market for 5G upload speed. From an experience perspective, Kuwait’s 5G speed outperformed its neighboring countries on video experience, while the UAE outperformed on games experience, and Qatar is leading on voice app experiences.

The Arab Monetary Fund published the ‘Arab Economic Outlook Report’ for 2022-2023, which includes growth and inflation forecasts for Arab economies for 2022 and 2023. [report in AR]


🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Council of Ministers approved a new Tourism Law for the kingdom which will establish new regulatory environments. Under the new law, new or experimental tourism businesses can receive special licenses and support, as well as stipulating the establishment of an information database containing statistics and information on all aspects of the Saudi tourism sector.

🇪🇬 Egypt

Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity launched a social insurance, health insurance, and credit program for delivery workers in an attempt to support the irregular sector. The funding allocated to the credit program for micro-small businesses by delivery workers is $146M (2.8B EGP). Delivery workers in Egypt are generally freelancers and not full-time workers, therefore, lacking benefits.



Telecom Egypt signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Orange Jordan to create “Cairo Amman Baghdad System” or “CAB System, a highly reliable terrestrial system connecting Iraq to Europe through Jordanian and Egyptian territories thereby improving connectivity primarily in Iraq.
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