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Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Turbulence yes, slowdown no

Despite a turbulent year, Egypt’s startup investment numbers still look quite good: While the startup world has been busy dealing with the VC squeeze, Egyptian startups broke yet another funding record. But this time around, the numbers were accompanied by news of layoffs, meltdowns and consolidation, as we previously wrote.

We take a look at what our internal trackers tell us about those investment rounds in terms of size, types of investors, and sectors. What we can say up front is that fintech is hogging the top spot once again in terms of number of transactions, and that the average round size has dropped for the first time in two years.

DISCLAIMER- These numbers are — at best — approximations, with three startups only disclosing that they had raised a “six- or seven-figure round” and 22 others preferring to not name an exact amount.

Our internal trackers count 94 investments in Egyptian startups in 2022, a 24% increase from 76 in 2021. February, March and October were prime time for startup investments. Eighteen closed investment rounds were announced in March, there were 13 in February and 12 in October. The quietest month of the year was July with only one six-figure investment announced, followed by November with three rounds. However, there wasn’t a single month all year devoid of investment announcements.

How much did Egyptian startups raise in 2022? Local startups raised almost USD 507 mn this year, up 36% from the USD 373 mn last year, according to our data.

But accelerators have been less active than last year. Besides the above-mentioned investment rounds, EFG-EV made one investment at an undisclosed amount, CEO of EFG-EV Saif El Bendary told us. In 2021, the amount stood at USD 1 mn for two transactions. Flat6Labs Egypt invested in 13 startups with a total value of EGP 33 mn (USD 1.3 mn), according to Egypt principal Mohamed El Ghannam, compared to USD 3.14 mn in 29 transactions last year.

Falak Startups topped its figures from 2021. Falak Startups invested just over USD 1 mn in nine new portfolio companies, while pumping follow-on investments in two existing ones worth USD 136k. Last year, it had invested over USD 416k through eight transactions.

The average transaction raised was lower this year compared to 2021. Of those who disclosed a precise figure, the average raised this year per transaction was USD 5.4 mn, down from USD 6.09 mn in 2021. Additionally, we did not have to set aside any megarounds out of fear of skewing the data, unlike last year.

The five largest tickets in 2022 were mainly pre-series B or series B rounds. The largest round this year goes to Paymob, which raised a whopping USD 50 mn series B round, followed by Maxab’s USD 40 mn pre-series B. Blnk collected USD 32 mn via a number of different investment vehicles, while Moneyfellows’ USD 31 mn series B and ArabyAds’ USD 30 mn pre-series B rounds also made it to the top five transactions this year.

Some 68% of investments had international involvement, compared to 60% last year. Some 25 transactions were solely fulfilled by local investors, while 22 rounds were only raised from international investors. This leaves us with 47 transactions fulfilled by a combination of local and international investors, equivalent to 50%.

Fintech and e-commerce are almost tied again for the top sectors of 2022, similar to last year. But fintech was the clear favorite with 18 investments, while e-commerce saw 15 transactions.

And it seems like healthtech and edtech are definitely gaining ground: Healthtech had 10 investments in total, which is five more than in 2021, bringing it into third place. Edtech, which was last year’s newcomer, came in fourth place with nine investments.

But investors seemed to have diversified more than last year: While we’ve seen the usual suspects of logistics (6 investments), SaaS (6), grocery delivery (4) and proptech (3) represented, we’ve also seen rounds in fashion, interior design, gaming, cloud kitchens, funeral services, and life sciences come in.

Pre-seed and seed rounds were all the rage this year — again: Pre-seed and seed rounds each saw 28 transactions in 2022, accounting for the bulk of this year’s rounds. Eighteen companies did not specify for which rounds they were raising, five raised a pre-series A, seven announced series A rounds, and nine companies ranged between bridge rounds and other types of funding.

What do startups want to do with all those USDs? Mainly product development. Forty-five startups want to work on their offering, while 23 are looking to increase their headcount and hire new talent. One prominent theme this year was expansion into the GCC and MENA, followed by tech development.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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