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Fintech pushes Mena startups to raise $445m in May

Mena startup funding Unsplash/Priscilla du Preez
Fintech startups raised the most money in May. The health and wellness sector also saw a notable increase in funding

Venture capital (VC) activity bounced back in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) in May 2023, as funding into the regional startups reached $445 million.

The fundings were spread across 39 deals, compared to $7 million raised across 11 deals in April 2023, Dubai-based Wamda said in its monthly report.

On a year-on-year basis, the deal volume jumped significantly by 153 percent.

Country-wise, the UAE led the list with $422 million raised across 14 deals, accounting for 90 percent of the total money raised. The funding was primarily led by buy-now-pay-later startup Tabby’s $350 million debt round. 

Qatar took the second spot for the first time with $12 million raised by superapp Snoonu, followed by Saudi Arabia with $6 million raised across 15 deals. 

In terms of deal count, Saudi Arabia topped the charts, primarily due to the graduation of seven homegrown startups from the Flat6labs Riyadh accelerator prorgramme. 

Fintech continues to retain its place as a preferred destination for VC funding. 

In the later stages of funding, dealmaking improved after being severely impacted by unstable market conditions. Seed and pre-seed startups continue to dominate deal volume. 

Startups with all-male founding teams attracted the majority of funding with 92.8 percent, while startups with male and female co-founders raised 7.2 percent of the total.

Only one female-founded startup raised investment in May, thanks to a $10,000 grant given to Egyptian healthtech outfit Chefaa.