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Public markets are bleeding and that spells bad luck to regional investments. Startups are turning to alternate funding sources, like MBRIF. Snap expands to Qatar and Cointelegraph expands to MENA. PIF commits $1.3B to 4 companies in Egypt including e-Finance. 

💰 Startup Investments: $24.5M+ was invested across 6 startups this week, led by UAE's Everdome's $10M funding round, this brings the total funding in August to $52M. 
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 INVESTMENTS

Everdome, UAE-based metaverse company, secured a $10M commitment from GEM Digital Limited (GEM). The startup was founded in 2021 and has created a hyper-realistic metaverse that takes users on an immersive journey from Hatta in the UAE as part of a game world.

OneOrder, Egypt-based F&B B2B marketplace, received a $6.5M investment agreement from Contact Factoring, a subsidiary of Contact Financial Holding. The startup was launched earlier this year and had raised $1M in funding.  

🚀  Quick Investments

Bayzat, UAE-based HR solutions platform, raised an investment from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF)’s as part of its non-equity guarantee scheme, value undisclosed. Based on the fund’s social media profiles and website, other startups in the UAE have also benefited from this scheme such as: Quiqup, Lamsa, Oliv, and PureHarvest.

Voyship, Egypt-based crowd-shipping platform, gets selected for Startupbootcamp’s Mobility and Transportation Program in Amsterdam. The startup was founded in 2021 and says it has 34k active users on its app. It will also receive $15,500 in funding as part of the program  

 ACQUISITIONS

KABi Technologies, Saudi-based HR consultancy, acquired 100% of Bloovo, UAE-based algorithm-based online recruitment platform, in a swap of shares transaction for an undisclosed value. Bloovo was founded in 2015 and has products that support recruiters in tracking, interviewing and sourcing talent. KABi Technologies is 40% owned by Maharah Human Resources Company. Maharah Human Resources Company already owned a ‘strategic stake’ in Bloovo based on a 2018 announcement.

Astra Tech, UAE-based technology development and investment group, acquired PayBy, UAE-based contactless payment solution, for an undisclosed value. PayBy was founded in 2019 and says it has over 2M users and 1000s of active merchants in the UAE, as well as processing over $160M in transactions during May 2022.

 INVESTMENTS IN INT'L STARTUPS

Insilico, Hong Kong-based drug discovery and development company, raised a $35M extension for its Series D round led by Prosperity7 (Aramco), bringing the total of the round to $95M. The company was founded in 2014 and has received recognition for AI research in medicine from NVIDIA and Frost & Sullivan.

Merkle Science, Singapore-based blockchain monitoring platform, raised $19M in funding co-led by BECO Capital and Darrow Holdings. The startup was founded in 2018 and provides enterprises with a crypto threat detection, risk management and compliance solution.

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 SECTOR NEWS

💰 Funds and Programs

COTU Ventures, UAE-based VC firm, secures commitment from Dubai Future District Fund, value undisclosed. COTU Ventures has already invested in regional startups like Supy, Qureos, Zenda and MoneyHash.

Cointelegraph, US-HQ blockchain and crypto focused media outlet, expands to the MENA region through a franchise partnership with Luna Media Corporation, UAE-based media group. Cointelegraph was founded in 2013 and covers blockchain and crypto and related sectors in 10 languages, including Arabic under the new partnership. Luna Media Corporation was founded in 2017 and operates PR agency, advisory, events, and other business activities related to Web 3.0.

SmartCrowd, UAE-based property investment and technology platform, received a fintech experimental license from Saudi’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced the licensing of two payment financial technology companies: Enjaz Payments Services Company to provide electronic wallet service (electronic transfer and payment service), and Marta Financial Company to provide payment services through points of sales (POS).

Baims, Kuwait-based edtech startup, expands to Turkey. The startup had raised $2.2M in pre-series A funding in March, and said it was working with 20 universities across Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Jordan at the time.

Udrive, UAE-based pay-as-you-go car rental platform, expands to Riyadh, Saudi. The startup had raised $5M in funding earlier this year.

WalaPlus, Saudi-based employee engagement and loyalty platform, expands to the UAE and Egypt. (AR)

Snap Inc announced that will launch an office in Qatar, signs MoU with Qatar’s Government Communications Office.

AMP Global Technologies, US-based blockchain-based video entertainment platform, launched an office in Dubai, UAE, after it secured $5.6M in seed funding.

 PUBLIC MARKETS

Swvl has signed a definitive agreement with an undisclosed US institutional investor for the purchase and sale of more than 12.1M of its shares as well as securities for $20M. This values the offered shares at a combined purchase price of $1.65 per share, down from its $10 share price at its debut in March.

Softbank Vision Fund posted a $21.68B net loss in Q2’2022, and a $23.3B loss across Softbank’s portfolio down from a $5.6B net profit in the same period last year.

Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) sets up a company to manage its investments in Egypt, Saudi Egyptian Investment Company (SEIC). PIF said earlier this year it would invest $10B in Egypt as part of a Saudi package to support the economy. SEIC immediately announced it had acquired 25% of eFinance Investment Group publicly traded shares for $392M. eFinance Investment Group is an Egypt-state-owned digital payment infrastructure developer that debuted on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) in 2019. It also acquired stakes in 3 other companies on EGX for a total value of $1.3B.

 REPORTS

STV published “From Startup To IPO: Unlocking A $100b+ Opportunity In MENA” report that provides an overview of the market and the fund’s perspective on its potential.

 POLICY

🇸🇦 🤝 🇶🇦

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced a partnership between the Mada Payment Network, and Qatar’s National Payment Network, NAPS, that will increase the accessibility for cardholders from both networks to each other’s point of sales, settled through the Gulf Payments Network (GCC-Net). (AR)

 
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