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Saudi launched local-EV brand, Ceer, and Bird expands to Qatar. Algeria's Yassir raised the biggest funding round in North Africa to date. Report on Fintech in Bahrain and Saudi. 

💰 Startup Investments: $199M was invested across 14 startups since the beginning of November led by Yassir's $150M series B funding round. This round catapults the value of venture funding in MENA-based startups in 2022 past $3B. For reference, venture funding in 2021 wrapped up at $3.14B. 
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 INVESTMENTS

Yassir, Algeria-HQ super-app, raised $150M in series B funding led by BOND, and joined by ​​DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures, and Y Combinator via its Continuity Fund, among other strategic investors. Yassir was founded in 2016 and says it has over 8M users on the platform across 6 African countries. It has offices in Algeria, Canada, France, Morocco and Tunisia, and plans to expand to the Middle East soon.
Pyypl, UAE-based blockchain-powered online payments provider, raised $20M in series B funding from existing and new investors, names undisclosed. The startup was founded in 2017 and had just closed an $11M series A round in February.

Blnk, Egypt-based BNPL startup, raised $12.5M in seed funding led by Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC), Sawari Ventures and other undisclosed investors, as well as $11.2M debt financing and $8.3M securitized bond issuance. The startup was founded in 2020 and says it has disbursed over $20M in loans via a network of more than 300 merchants to over 60,000 customers who pay an average of 2.6% monthly interest.

Okadoc, UAE-based healthtech platform, raised $10M in a pre-series B funding round led by IGAN and Buna Ventures, and joined by ‘Bassem Ibrahim Hayel Saeed’ Group, Club49, Omar Kassem Alesayi Group, Bupa Arabia, ADQ, and Now Invest. The platform was founded in 2018 and had expanded it services to include pharmaceutical prescription management, alongside virtual consultations and booking management. 

🚀  Quick Investments

 ACQUISITIONS

Tarjama, UAE-based language technology and service provider, acquired Screens, Lebanon-based ​​subtitling and localization services provides, for an undisclosed value. Tarjama was founded in 2008 and had acquired similar companies previously. Screens was founded in 1991 and supports 40 language pairs and dialects and is a leader in live and semi-live localisations.

 INVESTMENTS IN INT'L STARTUPS

Alation, US-based enterprise Saas startup, raised $123M in series E funding at a $1.7B valuation co-led by Sanabil Investments. The startup was founded in 2012 and it uses machine learning to automatically parse and organize data like technical metadata, user permissions and business descriptions.

Ramp Networks, UK-based crypto payment infrastructure startup, raised $70M in series B funding co-led by Mubadala Capital. The startup was founded in 2018 and lets users buy cryptocurrencies inside any application or website.


Limehome, Germany-based tech-powered serviced apartments, raised $45M in growth funding from AW Rostamani Group (UAE) and other global investors. The startup was founded in 2018 and currently manages over 3k properties across 7 countries, with plans to expand.

Juvena Therapeutics, US-based biotech startup, raised $41M in funding co-led by Mubadala Capital. The company was founded in 2017 and is developing a computational platform to map the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins in humans to further research on age-related and chronic illness.

 SECTOR NEWS

Fintech Galaxy, UAE-based fintech platform, received an Account Information Services Provider (AISP) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) allowing the startup to operate an Open Finance platform in the country.

Yandex Games, Russia-HQ game platform, expands operations to the Middle East.

Bird, US-HQ electric micromobility company, expands operations to Qatar ahead of FIFA World Cup.

Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) launched ‘Ceer’, a Saudi electric vehicle brand, that will design, manufacture and sell a range of vehicles from sedans to sports utility vehicles. Ceer is a Joint-Venture (JV) company between Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (Foxconn).

 REPORTS

Fintech Saudi published its annual report on the state of the fintech industry in the kingdom. According to the report, there are currently 525 registered fintech providers in Saudi. These companies have 13k employees and have a direct contribution of $3.53B (13.3B SAR) to the country’s GDP. The largest category of companies is real estate crowdfunding (29%), and equity crowdfunding (also 29%), followed by debt instruments (17%).

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) published the ‘Digital Payment Landscape Report 2022’, which showcases some of the growth metrics of the market. According to the report, digital wallet transactions are up 192.6% in volume and 111.6% in value in 2021. Benefit Pay has over 861k users on its platform which has conducted 209M transactions. Also, 65.6% of POS transactions are contactless.

 POLICY

🇸🇦  The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) has announced the launch of the compulsory licensing service for copyright works.
 

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