MENA VC Funding Surges in Q3 2023: $250M Raised Across 78 Deals
Venture capital funding in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region witnessed a significant surge in the third quarter of 2023, with $250 million raised across 78 deals. This represents a 32% increase compared to the previous quarter, according to the Q3 2023 MENA Venture Investment Premium Report by startup data platform MAGNiTT.
The impressive performance in Q3 has contributed to a total of $1.4 billion raised through 286 transactions in the first nine months of 2023. Among the MENA countries, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) emerged as the leaders in capital raised, with the Kingdom reporting a remarkable 172% quarter-on-quarter increase. On the other hand, the Emirates registered a solid 55% upswing in new funding. In terms of the number of transactions, the UAE has experienced the highest activity, accounting for a third of all deals closed in the MENA region during the first nine months of 2023.
MAGNiTT Founder and CEO Philip Bahoshy, speaking at the Expand North Star AI summit, attributed the strong performance in Q3 to a series of mega deals, involving investments of $100 million and more, across the region.
In his statement ahead of the report’s launch, Bahoshy highlighted the rise of new venture capital funds in MENA. Chimera Capital and Aliph Capital in the UAE, as well as IMPACT46 and KAUST in Saudi Arabia, have recently launched new funds to support local startups. Bahoshy expressed his keen interest in tracking the pace at which these newly raised funds translate into actual investments, citing the investment activity in Q4’23 as a key indicator for the strength of the VC landscape in 2024.
Today, Dubai hosted the Expand North Star AI summit, which showcased over 400 AI-infused startups. The event focused on the transformative power of AI and its impact on various industries. A panel discussion titled Generative AI Market Map worth $98 Billion: VCs Hungry for Startups in AI & DeepTech: Overhyped or the Next Frontier? shed light on the challenges faced by early-stage startups and the importance of due diligence as they scale. The panelists emphasized the value of AI in streamlining operations and predicted that every business will eventually become an AI business.
The Expand North Star event, organized by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and hosted by the Dubai World Trade Centre, hosted its largest-ever edition this year from October 15-18, 2023. More than 1,800 startups from over 100 countries participated in the event, attracting over 1,000 investors with over $1 trillion under management. Dubai is rapidly emerging as the hub of the world’s digital economy.
The MENA region’s vibrant venture capital landscape, as evidenced by the surge in funding and the growing interest in AI, highlights the region’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. With the continuous rise of VC funds and the increasing adoption of AI technologies, the stage is set for further growth and transformation in the coming years.