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Three automotive-related startups raised funding this week, and Cars24 published a report on the used-cares market in the UAE. Twitter published Saudi trends. Flat6Labs Jordan graduates its second cohort. Funding for Propeller VC, and Endure Capital. Is SAMA ready to embrace cryptocurrency?

💰 Startup Investments: $103.4M+ was invested since the beginning of September in 16 MENA-based startups, led by Trukker's $100M funding round. 
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🪙 Our two cents: The prices of used cars has surged globally in the past year due to a shortage of new vehicles (supply chain caused a slow down in shipping, but also in the production of components, especially microchips). The price of used cars has increased 20% by the end of June in both the UAE and Saudi, and continues to be high.

Yet, automotive-related startups make up less than 2% of funds invested into MENA-based startups in 2022. 


  • Arab Therapy (online mental health)
  • Bloom Cart (try-before-you-buy eCommerce plugin)
  • Khareta (real estate marketplace)
  • Quiqclaim (P2P medical insurance financing)
  • Ipass (fraud detection solution)
  • Shop4me (B2B marketplace)
  • Sukoon (mindfulness app)
Each startup received up to $115k in equity funding from the program.
TruKKer, Saudi-based on-demand truck aggregator, raised $100M in funding led by Investcorp and joined by Mubadala and other undisclosed investors. The startup says this may be their last private funding round as they plan to list on the public market in the next two years. The funding from Investcorp, $51M, is the first commitment from their $500M pre-IPO fund. According to Crunchbase, the startup had also raised $40M from Mars Growth Capital, it is however not clear if that is included in the round announced above.

🚀  Quick Investments

Y Combinator hosted its Summer 2022 demo day this week, where 3 Saudi-based startups will be pitching:
  • Erad (non-dilutive growth capital platform)
  • Drahim (wealth management)
  • Levers (financial management dashboard for SMEs)
Startups that go through the program receive $500k in funding.


Dammam Valley, Saudi-HQ biotech holding company, acquires a majority stake in Arcensus, Germany-HQ biotechnology startup, with other investment partners for an undisclosed value. Arcensus was founded in 2021 and works on Whole Genome Sequencing that is valuable for medical research and development efforts.


NowNow, Nigeria-based fintech solution, raised $13M in seed funding led by NeoVision Ventures (UAE), and joined by regional angel investors. The startup was founded in 2016 and says it built an end-to-end ecosystem of financial products for agents, consumers and SME.

Kemet Trading, US-based provider of infrastructure for digital asset derivatives trading, raised a seed funding round from BECO Capital and other global investors, value undisclosed. The startup was founded in 2022 and focuses on optimizing access to intelligence, liquidity, DeFi, trade execution, and post-trade operations. (via LinkedIn). 

Niftify, US-based NFT marketplace, raised a seed funding round co-led by Audacia Capital (UAE), and joined by other global investors, value undisclosed. The startup was founded in 2021 and will use the funding to pivot into a tech platform that will provide tools to help others build stores for non-fungible tokens.

De Novo Dairy, South Africa-based biotech startup, raised funding from UM6P Ventures (Morocco), value undisclosed. The startup was founded in 2021 and uses bioactive proteins to produce animal-free dairy products.


💰 Funds and Programs

Propeller VC, Jordan-based early-stage VC, received commitments for its Propeller Ventures II fund from Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), value undisclosed.

Endure Capital has announced the first close of its $50M Endure 21 fund that aims to invest in pan-African startups. The fund secured commitments from the ​​British International Investment (BII), Egypt's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, and individuals.

Flat6Labs partners with SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy to launch Themar, an AgriTech accelerator program for Egypt-based startups. The program plans to enroll up to 12 agritech startups per cycle, equity funding is not specified by the program.

Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA), UK-HQ  technical assistance program funded by the UK government, expanded to Egypt to support low-carbon projects and connect them with investors. The program aims to support pre-feasibility stage companies focused on climate-friendly solutions that are in need of financial and technical capacity, and supports them from 6  to 9 months per cycle. Financial support value not specified.

Saudi National Development Fund (NDF) announced an $80M Gaming and E-sports Sector Financing Program, in cooperation with the Saudi Esports Federation and Digital Content Program "Ignite". The fund aims to provide support through development funds and banks, and financial institutions to enhance the gaming and esports ecosystem in the kingdom.

Ziina, UAE-based mobile wallet app, expanded its services to Jordan.

Tabby, UAE-HQ BNPL player, expanded operations to Egypt., Switzerland-based crypto investment platform, expands operations to Dubai, UAE after raising $25M in funding.


Jahez filed its preliminary results for H1’2022. According to the filing profit increased by 1.85x YoY to $14.2M, and revenue increased to $207M. Orders made through the app went up by 46% to 31.5M in the first half of 2022, and restaurants registered increased to 7,879 (1.6x the same time last year).

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Cars24 published ‘Used Car Market Insights UAE H1 2022’ report that breaks down the market based on the platform’s data and external sources. According to the report, 70% of pre-owned car buyers in the UAE are male, and 65% of used-car buyers are looking for financing options for their purchase. 62% of consumers indicated that they would still prefer to buy their pre-used vehicles offline from a dealership or individual, although 28% indicated they would prefer online platforms. [report]

Twitter MENA published ‘Twitter Trends 2022 Report for Saudi Arabia’, which analyzes conversations on the platform and corresponding trends. According to the report, the Saudi twitter space witnessed a 595% increase in conversations about cryptocurrencies YoY, and a 153% increase in conversations around Vision 2030. Users have also increased their mentions of electric vehicles (55%) and smart cities (180%). [report

McKinsey published the 'Middle East Consumer Sentiment Survey' findings, which surveyed consumers in the UAE and Saudi about their current spending behavior (conducted in November 2021). According to the survey, 50%+ of consumers in both countries say they will be cutting back on spending due to uncertainty and job insecurity, and the growth in price sensitivity grew across all income brackets. Even though more than 52% of consumers reported that they are willing to pay for products that are healthier and purpose-driven, higher than the global average.


🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) appoints a lead for virtual assets and central bank digital currency. Saudi has long been wary of legalizing/regulating the cryptocurrency and virtual assets market, although there are now a few local startups in the space. 

A recent study by KuCoin shows that at least 3M Saudi-based consumers between the ages of 18 to 60 (~14% of adult population) either own cryptocurrency or have traded cryptocurrency in the past 6 months
🇰🇼 Kuwait

Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior sets new requirements for last-mile home delivery providers pertaining to delivery drivers pertaining to certification, visas and service provider identification.

🇴🇲 Oman

The Oman Tax Authority confirms the inclusion of the ecommerce sector within the purview of the country’s Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations. The authority’s recent guide requires suppliers of ‘electronically supplied goods and services registered in the country or abroad to register with the local authority to comply with the new regulations.
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