Last month we highlighted the growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) investment space. In this newsletter, we will dive into funding by industry and region.

United Arab Emirates (UAE): The majority of investments in 2019 were sourced in the UAE which accounted for 62% of total MENA investment. We expect this trend to continue due to the more robust investment infrastructure in the UAE. Although the percentage of deals completed did not change from 2018 to 2019, the UAE’s percentage of total MENA investment increased 21%. This signifies the continuing growth in UAE investment size.

Egypt: A distant second, in terms of total investment (13%), Egypt completed 7 more deals in 2019 compared to the UAE. This signifies a burgeoning start up community focused on growth.

Saudi Arabia: Rounding out the top three in terms of deal value closed is Saudi Arabia. This is expected to increase in the upcoming year due to the government’s attempts to diversify the economy.

Real Estate held the top spot in terms of investment dollars in 2019 but did not rank in the top five for deal numbers. This is a result of the capital intensive nature of the investments.

FinTech remained the leader in number of deals despite the moderate industry slowdown near the end of 2019. These investments include crypto focused companies. Although funding for FinTech was number five in terms of investment dollars, these numbers signify an interest in the industry and that investors like to enter early.

eCommerce took second place in terms of funding value (17%) and deals (10%). As the industry continues to grow globally and key players continue to make acquisitions, this is an interesting market to watch. These numbers are bolstered by a $6.2M seed round investment in e-commerce wholesale food and grocery marketplace, MaxAB.

Delivery and Transport realized large growth in investment dollars with 10% growth from 2018. This mimics trends from US investments as delivery startups continue to compete for the expanding market.
In next month's newsletter, we will walk through the steps to create a successfully closed deal in the region based on success stories and lessons learned. This information will be a guide to expansion in the region supported by capital placement.
Sources: Magnitt, Thomson Reuters, and Deloitte

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Jahani and Associates (J&A) is an investment bank headquartered in the New York City with specific focus on the GCC and Africa. Mr. Saeed Al Darmaki , a UAE national, is a member of J&A's advisory board. Learn more about us through our website .
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