January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
MENA startups began 2024 with a quieter January, raising $86.5 million—a considerable drop from December 2023's $1.15 billion and a 34% decline year-over-year.
The UAE led with $47 million raised over 10 deals, notably a $35 million round for travel startup Tumodo. Wamda reports that January often forecasts the year's investment climate.
Egypt raised $23 million through seven deals, with Saudi Arabia close behind at $10.7 million from 10 deals. Travel tech shone due to Tumodo, while fintech slowed with $12 million raised.
Health tech and mobility also drew interest, with significant investments. Early-stage funding was robust, particularly for B2B startups, as they outperformed B2C companies. However, investment in female founders lagged, with a stark gender disparity.
Saudi Proptech Startup Rize Gains $2.9 Million Seed Investment
Saudi proptech startup Rize landed a $2.9 million seed round and additional debt financing for expansion. Investors such as SEEDRA Ventures and HALA Ventures backed the 2021-founded firm that offers a rent-now-pay-later model. The funds will bolster Rize's reach in the Saudi market, aiming to set monthly payments as a rental standard.
Kuwait's Bookr Secures Bridge Funding for Expansion
Bookr, a Kuwaiti SaaS marketplace for beauty services, received bridge funding from Plus VC. The 2018-founded company connects users with beauty professionals. The investment will enhance Bookr's offerings, marketing, customer experience, and regional growth.
UAE’s CAMB.AI Receives $4 Million Seed Fund
CAMB.AI, an AI dubbing startup in the UAE, raised $4 million in seed funding led by Courtside Ventures, with support from several investors. Launched in 2022, its technology provides multilingual dubbing while maintaining the original voices. The funds will fuel CAMB.AI's tech development and global expansion.
Saudi Fintech Earns Shariah Certification for Real Estate Investments
IBDA Real Estate, a Saudi fintech platform, secured Shariah certification from the Shariyah Review Bureau in Bahrain for its real estate investment services.
This assures compliance with Islamic finance principles, enhancing its attractiveness to investors seeking Shariah-compliant real estate options. The bureau's global recognition and expertise underscore IBDA’s credibility.