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Venture studios and sustainability-focused startups are in. Anghami loads up on audiobooks. Mastercard says we are using more digital payments, and IBM says we are doing a bad job keeping them secure. Saudi issues new regulations for social media advertising, while Egypt cracks down on illegal telecom businesses. 

💰 Startup Investments: $28.6M+ was invested across 5 startups during the first week of August, in addition to a $150M loan facility for UAE's Tabby. 

Investments in July wrapped up at $105M across 27 startups led by YAP's $41M pre-series A funding round. 
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Homzmart, Egypt-based furniture marketplace, raised $23M in pre-series B funding from Saudi Technology Ventures (STV), Impact46, Outliers Ventures, Rise Capital and NUWA Capital. The startup was founded in 2020 and acquired MockUp Studio, Germany-based interior design AR solution, in March of 2022. It has also ventured into logistic services to help plug a gap in its market.

Teeela, Kuwait-based gifting ecommerce platform, raised $3.75M in pre-series A funding led by Wealth Well and joined by Mad’a Investment, Al-Akeel family and other undisclosed investors. The startup was founded in 2018 and will use the funding to expand to Saudi and the UAE.   

🚀  Quick Investments

  • Barakah, Saudi-based food waste management startup, raised $300k in pre-seed funding from Alriyadah Investments.
  • Procurified, UAE-based procurement marketplace for the construction industry, raised $1.1M in seed funding led by Aditum Investment Management and joined by Signal Peak Ventures, Al Hathboor Group, Empede Capital, and angel investors.
  • Hoods, Egypt-based live entertainment platform, raised $350k in pre-seed funding from angel investors.
  • Faceki, Bahrain-based facial recognition startup, raised seed funding from Tenmou, value undisclosed.
  • CyberME Studio, Saudi-based cybersecurity startup studio, raised funding from Rekaz National Capital, a fund dedicated to investing in the studio. Rekaz National Capital’s Cybersecurity fund announced the final close of the fund as part of the announcement but did not disclose its value. (AR)
Tabby, UAE-based BNPL platform, raised $150M in debt from Atalaya Capital Management and Partners for Growth. The startup was founded in 2019 and says active users on its platform grew 8x in the first half of 2022, and plans to expand to Egypt.


Actis, UK-based private equity firm, acquired a controlling stake in Yellow Door Energy, UAE-based solar power company, for an undisclosed amount and subject to regulatory approvals. Yellow Door Energy was founded in 2015 and has facilities that produce 106MW in operation and 104MW awarded and under construction across the UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.

Swvl terminates its acquisition of Zeelo, UK-based smart bus and technology company, estimated at $100M, “due to turmoil in financial markets”.


OneLoad, Pakistan-based fintech, raised $11M in a Series A round co-led by Sarmayacar and Shorooq Partners. The startup was founded in 2013, it provides a non-banking digital transaction platform in Pakistan and partners with banks and telecom companies to offer services including payments, cash deposits and lending.  

Clarke Valve, US-based industrial technology company, raised $5M in funding from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) and other global investors. It was founded in 2011 and it produces environmentally responsible control valve technology for us in oil and gas, chemical, power plants, water management, and aerospace.

ClimateCrop, Israel-based crop gene editing company, raised funding from UM6P Ventures (the investment arm of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P)), value undisclosed. The company was founded in 2021 and will use the funding to research gene editing technology on potato and tomato crops, which dominate the Moroccan terrain.



💰 Funds and Programs

Openner, US-HQ VC firm with operations in Egypt, launched Qurious Labs, Egypt-based Web3-focused venture studio that looks to build companies that utilize blockchain, digital currencies, NFTs, gaming as well as explore the Metaverse and decentralized applications leveraging.

Oui Capital, Africa-focused VC firm based, announced the first closing of $11M of its Oui Capital Mentors Fund II, its second $30M fund. The fund aims to invest in sub-Saharan startups in the pre-seed and seed stages, and has already invested in Egypt-based startups like Pharmacy Marts.

Anghami partnered with Wajeez, Saudi-based Arabic audio and text summaries app, to expand its audio streaming catalog with audiobook summaries. Anghami has been expanding its audio portfolio with exclusive content and podcasts since 2019, this would be a new addition in that direction.


Mithaq Capital, Saudi-HQinvestment office of Al Rajhi family, increased its stake in Otonomo Technologies, Israel-HQ mobility intelligence company, to 20.41%, making it the biggest shareholder in the firm.


Mastercard published the ‘New Payments Index’, a consumer survey of UAE, Saudi, Egypt and Morocco that looks at the appetite for the adoption of new payment technologies. 

According to the survey, 87% of respondents in Saudi and the UAE say they are familiar with BNPL, however, 54% of respondents in Saudi and only 46% of respondents in the UAE claim to be comfortable using it today. 74% and 81% of respondents in Morocco and Egypt respectively say they are familiar with BNPL, however, 39% of respondents in Morocco and 50% of Egypt claim to be comfortable using it today. 

67% of respondents in the UAE say they have done at least one crypto-related transaction in the past year, while 60% of respondents in Saudi have used biometrics for payments at least once in the past year. 52% of respondents in Morocco have used biometrics for payment at least once in the past year, while 42% of respondents in Egypt are willing to share financial data with apps to access services. 

[Egypt] [Morocco] [Saudi] [UAE
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published ‘Global Wealth 2022: Standing Still Is Not an Option’, a report on the status of wealth managers globally including the Middle East. According to the report, wealth in Middle East is estimated at $11.4T across assets and financial wealth. The UAE’s wealth is 60% dependent on cross-border investments, primarily concentrated in the middle east. [report]

IBM published its annual ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ 2022 report which assesses the cybersecurity status of businesses globally, including Saudi and the UAE, and the costs that are incurred by cyber threats. According to the report, the Middle East (Saudi and the UAE), continues to hold the second position globally by the average total cost of a data breach for a business ($7.64M up from $6.93M in 2021). Globally the healthcare industry has had the highest average cost of a breach for 12 consecutive years, followed by financial institutions. 83% of organizations surveyed have had more than one data breach in their organization, which is challenging since the mean time to identify a data breach in 2022 is 207 days and the mean time to contain in 70 days.

Iraq's National Investment Commission (NIC) published ‘Iraq Investment Map 2022’ and ‘Investor Guide to Iraq 2022’ which together provide a full overview of the market’s economic status including transportation and telecommunication, trade, etc, as well as expected growth projections for the market and governates.



🇸🇦 Saudi

Saudi’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media launched Mawthooq, a licensing program for advertisements by social media users. Earlier this year the commission fined users posting advertisements on social media without a license.

🇪🇬 Egypt

Egypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) approved a draft law amending some provisions of the telecommunications law, that bans importing, manufacturing, assembling, possessing, using, operating, installing or marketing any telecommunication equipment until after obtaining a permit from the concerned authorities.



Saudi’s Public Investment Fund makes a $300M (1.2B SAR) commitment to Oman Infrastructure Investment Fund (Rakiza), a Muscat-based investment fund managed jointly by Oman Infrastructure Investment Management (OIIM) and London-based Equitix. The private equity fund targets investment in Oman and Saudi, focusing on the renewable energy, electricity, water and social services, communications, transport and logistics infrastructure sectors.
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