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Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Startup investment up >33% on 2020 + Kiwe closes first round, MNT-Halan launches core banking system

Investors have put almost USD 2 bn into startups in MENA, Pakistan and Turkey so far this year, with USD 150 mn being deployed in October alone, according to Magnitt.

Putting this in perspective: Less than USD 1.5 bn was invested in MENAPT startups through the whole of 2020.

Fintech + e-commerce continue to dominate: Investments grew 10% m-o-m compared to September, with the bulk of the funding going to companies in the fintech and e-commerce sectors.

Healthcare + transport and logistics also hot: Of the big five sectors, only healthcare and transport saw a y-o-y increase in transaction number during the month, growing by 50% and 300% respectively, according to the report.

The biggest transaction of the month came in the agriculture sector: Emirati agritech firm Pure Harvest raised USD 64.5 mn from a Korean investment firm at the end of October, accounting for almost half of the funding raised by all MENAPT startups during the month.

November seems to be continuing the trend, with Egyptian startups Rabbit and Breadfast both closing multi-mn USD rounds.

A pipeline still backed up from 2020: Magnitt a slowdown in investment activity last year thanks to the pandemic. That said, 2020 was also a good year for MENA startups, with capital inflows climbing to USD 1 bn in 2020, up from USD 700 mn the year before, despite the economic damage and market volatility caused by the pandemic.

Egyptian startups landed some 26% of VC funding deployed to MENA in 1H2021, with a total of USD 194 mn pouring into startups in the country, a 30% year-on-year increase from the same period in 2020.

PAYMENTS NEWS- E-payments app Kiwe closed its first investment round, led by Digital Finance Holding (DFin), with participation from our friends from EFG Hermes, Marakez and other angel investors, according to a press release (pdf). The value of the round was undisclosed.

Kiwe will use the investment to expand its platform, CEO and co-founder of the startup Fatma Khalifa told Enterprise. The platform provides money pooling, transfer, and payment features that can be used across their portfolio of merchants, which include F&B players, retail and furniture stores, and social commerce platforms, she said.

ALSO- MNT-Halan has successfully rolled out its Neuron banking software, which will enable it to scale up and handle mns of customers transacting in multiple currencies, the company announced in a press release. Launched earlier this year, the core banking software was developed in house, making it the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa. “We built this technology to accelerate our trajectory and ability to scale, ensure frictionless transactions, predict customer behavior, and maintain the security of our customers’ data,” said co-founder and CTO Ahmed Mohsen, calling the software a “game changer.”

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