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$230M was allocated to new funds targeting MENA-based startups, and $60M to female investors in Africa. Sustainability is on the agenda. Report on AI Governance in Africa. M&A activity is consistently high, this month we recorded 9 acquisitions of regional tech startups or by regional companies. 

💰 Startup Investments: $176M was invested across 33 MENA-based startups in September. This is almost half of the funding that was recorded in September 2021 (which was an exceptional year globally), but still 7.5x what was invested during September 2020. 
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 INVESTMENTS

Eat App, UAE-HQ restaurant reservations platform, raised $11M in series B funding from MEVP, 500 Startups, Derayah VC, Dallah Albaraka, Ali Zaid Al Quraishi & Brothers Company, Rasameel Investment Company, and others. The startup was founded in 2015 in Bahrain, and says it currently serves customers in 63 countries globally.

Mazaya, Egypt-based B2B marketplace, raised $5M in pre-seed funding led by Raya Trade and Distribution. The startup was founded in 2021 and allows retailers to purchase electronics and appliances, and offers online payment, POS, and BNPL financing facilities. It says that 6k+ merchants have used the platform since launch.

🚀  Quick Investments

  • Ingame, (Egypt) gaming startup, raised $1M in pre-seed funding led by Openner VC and joined by Sports Radar and angel investors. The round consists of cash, in-kind resources, and grant funding.
  • Partment, (Egypt) proptech startup, raised $1.5M in pre-seed funding led by Nclude and Plus Venture Capital, and joined by angel investors.
  • Kumulus, (Tunisia) water-tech startup, raised $955k (€1M) in pre-seed funding from Paris Techstars Accelerator, Flat6Labs, WILCO and Bpifrance, and angel investors.
  • Kashat, (Egypt) nano-lending app, raised funding from Plug & Play and Launch Africa as part of an ungoing round, value undisclosed.

 ACQUISITIONS

Chedid Direct Limited, Lebanon-HQ subsidiary of Chedid Capital, acquired a majority stake in MMR Holding Limited, the parent company of BuyAnyInsurance, UAE-based insurance comparison marketplace, for an undisclosed value. The startup was founded in 2018 and will be expanding to new markets beyond the UAE after the strategic acquisition.

Chalhoub Group, UAE-HQ retail group, acquired a majority stake in Threads Styling, UK-based luxury shopping platform, for an undisclosed value. The startup was founded in 2009 and works with 400+ luxury brands.

Oktopi, UAE-based learning management platform, acquired TutorHouse, UK- based tutoring platform, for an undisclosed value. Oktopi was launched in 2021 and provides a platform that connects educators and learners for a personalized learning experience. Tutor House was founded in 2012 and has raised $2.6M in funding to date.

 INVESTMENTS IN INT'L STARTUPS

Vendease, Nigeria-based B2B marketplace, raised $30M in a Series A round from VentureSouq (UAE) joined by other global investors. The startup was launched in 2020 and focuses on the F&B sector connecting suppliers and farms to restaurants and food businesses.

Alteia, France-based vision AI and industrial software company, raised a funding round led by Wa’ed Ventures (Saudi), value undisclosed. The startup was founded in 2021 and will use the funding to increase its presence in Saudi Arabia by launching a regional office.

 SECTOR NEWS

💰 Funds and Programs

Further Ventures launched a $200M venture capital fund anchored by ADQ, which will focus on investments in early-stage digital assets, fintech and supply chain. The firm will also establish the Further Network, to invest and co-create startups with venture builders globally.

Climate Resilience Fund, Egypt-HQ fund, launched a $25M venture capital fund to invest in pre-seed stage ‘nature-positive’ and sustainable agriculture startups in MEA. The fund plans to invest half of its capital in Egypt-based startups and the rest across MEA. The fund says that its first check to startups will range from $100k to $1M.

BMCE Capital Investment, Morocco-Based Investment company and subsidiary of BMCE Capital Group, launched its first venture capital fund of $4.5M (50M MAD) to invest in Morocco-based seed-stage startups. Morocco’s Capital Market Authorities (AMMC) approved the creation of the new fund which is anchored by BMCE Group, and will be raising further funding from other financial institutions.  


The African Women Impact Fund (AWIF) Initiative announced the first close of $60M fund anchored by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) ($15M), The Motor Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF) and Copartes Pension Fund in South Africa ($45M), and supported by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Standard Bank Group. The fund's purpose will be to enable and support female asset managers, female-led funds and investment managers.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) grants permits to a new batch of companies to provide Open Banking Solutions in the Regulatory Sandbox; Wally Global Arabia (Wally App), Sanam Aliliddikhar for Information Technology (Sanam App), Istishraf Al-Bayanat for Financial Technology (Data Insights), and Spare Arabian Financial Company (Spare).

Trella, Egypt-based trucking marketplace, partnered with Contact Financial Holding to provide its clients with financing solutions such as vehicle financing, BNPL for spare parts, as well as access to working capital.

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 REPORTS

Alt Advisory published ‘AI Governance in Africa’, an overview of the state of policy and governance measures for artificial intelligence in 55 African countries in order to measure progress at a regional level and identify current gaps and opportunities. According to the report, 55% of African countries have data protection legislation that addresses automated decision-making, with the same percentage applicable in North African countries. However, 91% of African countries do not have an Expert body on AI, while 55% of North African countries have an expert body on AI and 33% believe that AI is a priority in the National Development Plan.
 

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