Saudi startups recorded their best-ever fundraising quarter in the three months ending September 30, attracting $205 million in 34 deals, according to data platform Magnitt.
Venture capital investments in start-up companies in the Kingdom more than quadrupled in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year. Total VC investment reached $376 million year-to-date in 2021. A $125 million Series B funding round through customer communications platform Unifonic accounted for one-third of the total.
Within the region, Egypt has held 96 deals so far during the year, five more than the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were tied with 91 deals.
Here are 5 startups that have recently raised money in the region.
1- CoinMENA, Bahrain
Bahrain-based CoinMena has raised $9.5 million in its first seed funding round.
Fundraising from CoinMena will primarily finance further development of the platform and product, user acquisition and retention as well as international expansion.
Launched in early 2021, CoinMena was primarily designed to address a gap in the market that existed for easy and secure access to investing in cryptocurrencies.
Today, as a fully regulated in-house crypto exchange licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, CoinMena has not only bridged the gap but has also become an exchange platform known for its fast transactions, variety of assets, excellent customer service, and an easy-to-use mobile app. Recently, CoinMena entered into an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Center to build the next blockchain and crypto hub in the UAE.
The CoinMena signup process takes less than a minute and can be done on the simple, smooth and very intuitive mobile application, which is designed for both novice and professional traders. Exchange services are currently available to residents of Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, with the aim of expanding to other countries in the MENA region.
2- point – Saudi
The first and leading NFT market in Saudi Arabia has successfully closed the pre-seed round.
As the first local platform, Noqt will enable local creators to seamlessly publish and sell their work and will serve as a global platform for buyers keen on sourcing the latest in NFT technology by well-known and emerging artists in the MENA region. Dot plans to build on the burgeoning NFT space, leveraging core blockchain technology to drive innovation in other sectors such as media and entertainment. The company plans to become the de facto platform for the Saudi creative economy and the Middle East and North Africa.
NFTs represent a major shift for artists to securely record and track any of their productions, with full details available in a public ledger that cannot be tampered with.
In 2020, the NFT market was valued at just over $250 million and reached $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
The newly acquired funds will allow the leading NFT company in Saudi Arabia to support its platform operations and further expand its product offerings.
3- Remote Pass – United Arab Emirates
UAE startup RemotePass, a technology platform that helps companies recruit employees from around the world, has raised funds in a pre-phase one round.
The move follows RemotePass’s initial initial investment and comes as the startup ramps up efforts to enhance and streamline the process for companies to join and pay for its remote teams around the world.
The funds will be used for geographic expansion and the creation of more efficient infrastructure. Companies can hire talent as independent contractors or as employees from more than 120 countries depending on local labor laws.
RemotePass provides a click-through experience for businesses to easily handle everything from compliance to payroll as well as day-to-day HR operations in a GDPR compliant environment. Although the startup offers an integrated platform, it also offers built-in integration with multiple parts of human resource and accounting software to increase productivity.
4- BlinkApp- Egypt
Based in Cairo, BlinkApp has successfully completed a six-figure pre-incorporation round. The Egyptian start-up to help mobility risks is looking to purposefully install its technology on smartphones to achieve better driving behaviour, speedy roadside assistance, and road safety for all.
The startup previously raised two royalty-free grants of $90,000 and $120,000 from the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Information Technology Academic Collaboration Program.
Technology brings science, technology and business together to bring the latest mobile solutions to life. Powered by artificial intelligence, BlinkApp saves lives and reduces the impact of driving behavior hazards on vehicles and accidents. BlinkApp supports all customers who are insurance companies, fleet owners or individuals looking for road safety. The app captures and analyzes thousands of miles of data while relying on your smartphone’s sensors and AI technology to monitor driver behavior, detect collisions, and generate insightful customer orientation and assistance reports.
BlinkApp will accommodate 6 million users and generate $5 million in GMV (gross merchandise value) revenue transactions from the B2C and B2B segments by 2025. The targets are individuals, fleet owners, and insurance companies. By 2025, BlinkApp hopes its revenue will exceed $19.8 million.
5- Sympl – Egypt
Sympl, a Cairo-based later payments fintech startup, has raised $6 million in a funding round, following the recent beta launch of its platform.
Semple said in a statement that the funds will be used to improve product offerings and grow the company’s network of merchants “to serve multiple categories of products and services across online and in-store merchants.”
Sympl is Egypt’s first Save Your Money Pay Later service, a deferred payment platform that allows merchants to sell products and services directly to bank card holders on short-term, interest-free payment plans.
Sympl, which is now accepted in more than 240 retail and online stores in Egypt, serves product and service categories such as electronics, fashion, appliances, furniture, travel, healthcare, jewelry, and education. It aims to reach 1,000 stores by the middle of next year.
Customers shop with access to easy, flexible, interest-free payment plans and can complete a transaction in less than 10 seconds.
Sympl does not require pre-registration and payment plans are approved at final checkout.