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New VC funds for African startups, and regional investors invest in 3 African startups. Network International expands to Sudan. Petromin (Saudi) acquires an India-based startup. Deliveroo goes to Qatar. Finally, this edition is packed with reports on agritech in Africa, travel trends in MENA, Gen-z & millennial attitudes and trends, and the Arab Youth Survey 2022. 

💰 Startup Investments: $16.8M+ was invested across 5 startups this week, led by Elevatus' $10M in series A funding. This brings the total funding in September to $156.5M across 27 deals. 
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Elevatus, Saudi-based Saas recruitment platform, raised $10.5M in Series A funding co-led by Global Ventures and Wa’ed Ventures, and joined by Jasoor Ventures. The startup was founded in 2019 and says it works with 150+ companies regionally including Samsung, Arab Bank, Dr. Suleiman Al-Habib Medical Group, and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST).

🚀  Quick Investments


National Auto Parts Company (NAP), Saudi-based subsidiary of Petromin Corporation, acquired SpareIt, India-based automotive spare parts B2B marketplace, for an undisclosed value. The startup was founded in 2020 and works with over 7000 garages across india. It has also ventured into Electric Vehicle maintenance training for garages and developing a network of service providers and charging stations for consumers. Petromin Corporation is a Saudi-HQ petrochemical company.


Turaco, Kenya-based insurtech startup, raised $10M in a Series A funding round led by AfricInvest (Tunisia) through its Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), and other global investors. The startup was founded in 2018 and allows different companies to provide insurance bundles through their platforms via the Turaco API.

Julaya, Ivory Coast-based B2B payments startup, raised a $5M extension to its pre-series A funding round from EQ2 Ventures (UAE), Jedar Capital and other global investors. This brings the total of the startup’s pre-series A funding round to $7M. The startup was founded in 2018 and allows enterprises to make B2B payments and payments to unbanked individuals through existing mobile money channels.

Remedial Health, Nigeria-based B2B marketplace for pharmaceuticals, raised $4.4M in seed funding led by Global Ventures (UAE) and joined by global investors. The startup was founded in 2020 and has partnerships with major manufacturers and distributors including GSK, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca.


💰 Funds and Programs

Byld Ventures launched a $15M fund that aims to invest in fintechs in Africa, mainly across Egypt and Nigeria, as well as Algeria and Ethiopia. Byld Ventures is HQ in the UK and is founded by the co-founder of Bloom, Sudan-based fintech startup.

NClude by Global Ventures, an Egypt-focused fintech fund anchored by Banque Misr, announced its second close of $110M from undisclosed regional and international investors. The fund was announced and reached its first close of $85M in March 2021. (AR)

Deliveroo to expand services to Qatar.

Network International partners with El Nilein Bank, Sudan-based bank, to provide payments and technology support. This marks Network International’s first foray into the Sudanese Market.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced the licensing of two payment financial technology companies: Arab Sea Financial Company and Fatoraah to provide Payment services for eCommerce. 

From last week: Aramco launched a project called the ‘Aramco Global AI Corridor’ at the Global AI Summit in Riyadh last week. Today Aramco revealed a $250M deal with Beyond Limits, US-based industrial artificial intelligence startup, to build a global AI corridor. The company was founded in 2014 and was recognized as Global Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan last year.

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AgFunder published the ‘2022 Africa AgriFoodTech Investment Report’ which provides an overview of the startup investments across Africa, including Egypt and Morocco in 2021. According to the report, Egypt-based agritech startups attracted 38.6% ($186M) of the value invested in Africa 2021 across only 24% of the deal volume (36 deals). Morocco-based agritech startups made up 3.2% (7) of deals and attracted $15.4M in funding.

Spotify Advertising published ‘Culture Next, Global Trends Report’ for the UAE, that looked into Gen-Z trends and insights. According to the report, 69% of millennials and 58% of Gen-Z in the UAE agree that they use music to reduce their stress levels. The time spent streaming Spotify via gaming consoles increased 34% in the UAE between Q1’20 and Q1’21. Meanwhile, 49% of millennials in the UAE said they’ve seen fewer ads than they would in a typical year, while 49% said they’ve had fewer brand interactions altogether. Also, 51% of millennial parents in the UAE already own at least one smart speaker, and 78% said they plan to buy one in the next 12 months. published 'Job Index Survey - September 2022' that measures job availability and hiring trends in the MENA region. According to the survey, 66% of companies say they are hiring in the next 12 months in MENA (54% in the next 3 months), while 56% say they have also hired new talent in the past 6 months. Banking/Finance and Advertising/Marketing are the top two sectors attracting fresh graduate talent, national and female talents in the region. Meanwhile, the top skill that recruiters are looking for are language skills (Arabic and English), 62%, followed by team skills, 42%. [report]

Digital Media Services (DMS) by Choueiri Group published ‘Travel MENA: Key Trends After COVID’, a survey of consumers across Saudi, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan about their sentiment and approach to travel. According to the report, 58% of respondents are less concerned about the implications of COVID and/or have resumed traveling. In fact, 45% of respondents have traveled in the past 12 months (2021), with 65% of those traveling for leisure only. 67% of respondents said they are now booking online more than before, while 59% said they avoid using cash as much as possible on trips. [report

Havas Middle East published the ‘Prosumer Report: Generation COVID’ report which looks to provide insights into the consumer mindset of youth in the UAE and Saudi. [Prosumers are defined as individuals who are influential market drivers within their generation]. According to the report, 50% of surveyed ‘prosumers’ in the UAE and 60% in Saudi, would opt to work for big companies rather than startups because they believe that their work would have more impact on the world. 84% of those surveyed in the UAE and 78% in Saudi expect large companies to contribute positively to the sustainability of the future. 65% of those surveyed in both the UAE and Saudi believe that social equality is a cause they identify with and are active in.  

ASDA’A BCW published the 14th edition of the ‘Arab Youth Survey’ which surveys youth across MENA annually on their attitudes towards identity, livelihood, lifestyle, aspirations and more. According to the report, youth surveyed considered the rising cost of living (35%) and unemployment (32%) are the biggest obstacles facing the region, with 41% saying that they struggle to cover their expenses regularly, and over 50% of youth receiving financial assistance from their family. 57% of youth surveyed selected the UAE as the top country to live in for the 11th consecutive year, followed by US (24%) and Canada (20%). Television is still considered the most trustworthy source of information (84%), followed by official news portals and print news (71%). And 89%of youth say they purchase products online at least a few times a month.

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