Per Magnitt’s recently released report, the Middle East and North African (MENA) region recorded a 66% increase in venture funding for the periods of H1 2019 and H1 2018. It is estimated that startups in the region raised $471 million in the first half of 2019 compared to $283 million of H1 2018.
Magnitt’s geographical breakdown of the H1 2019 data further shows Egypt’s growing influence in the MENA region with the North African country’s startups contributing at least 21% (50 deals) of all 238 deals that the region recorded. Of the amount disclosed form these deals, 12% ($56 million) was raised by Egyptian startups. It is no surprise; therefore, Egypt is among the top five startup markets across Africa.
As of 2019, per Digest Africa data, the country is also home to Africa’s most funded transport and logistics startup. Although it hasn’t recorded a significant number of startups with more than $1 million in funding raised in this year.
In this research brief, we list the country’s most funded startups for the past 10 years. With a cut-off at $2 million, Egypt’s 9 most funded startups have raised a total of $132 million in venture funding with Swvl as the most funded. Please note that we do not include those that have been acquired or listed. For more details about our methodology, click here.
Cairo-based SWVL is impacting the transport and logistics industry by providing affordable, quality and convenient bus rides, an easier hassle-free alternative to the usual “matatu”. The company is the most funded in Egypt and in the transport and logistics sector across Africa. Aside from raising a groundbreaking $80 million across 4 funding rounds, the company also signed an MoU with Ford Motor Company to see that Ford Transmit minibus become the preferred means for their routes in Egypt. The firm which started in Egypt has since expanded to Nairobi with and Pakistan. However, it still harbours plans to expand to Nigeria, Uganda, Southeast Asia as well as migrating its headquarters to Dubai.
The startup’s online platform allows users to find doctors around them, schedule appointments and share reviews. After raising $12 million in 2018 in a Series C round led by STV and an additional $1 million from IFC, Vezeeta now has a total funding amount of over $23 million. With this amount, the startup is among Africa’s most funded healthcare startups. Additionally, in Egypt, it ranks as the most funded in the healthcare sector.
Last year, this subsidiary of Basharsoft raised $6 million in a Series B round. The closure of this amount brought the company’s total venture funding raised to $8 million over 3 funding rounds with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development as one of its notable investors. The recruitment and talent management platform announced updates on their website that would help it achieve 1 million hires by 2020. If put into effect, these plans are likely to make it the leading recruitment platform in Egypt.
When considering only disclosed funding rounds, Seed and a Series A, Halan has raised a total $7 million from two notable investors - Battery Road Digital Holdings and Algebra Ventures. However, according to information gathered by Digest Africa, the startup has raised far more than this though the information is not yet public. As a ride-hailing and on-demand logistics service provider, Halan currently offers transportation using tricycles. In July this year, the company also launched the service Halan Ads which enables brands to advertise on its fleet of tuk-tuks and motorcycles.
Leading e-commerce food and grocery market place MaxAB raised $6.2M in a Seed round led by BECO Capital with participation from 4DX Ventures, Endure Capital, 500 Startups, Outlierz Ventures and other local investors. This is currently the highest amount that has been raised in a Seed round within the MENA region.
Zooba Eats ($4M)
With a 4 star rating on TripAdvisor, this Cairo based street food restaurant chain offers a range of dishes with a unique twist. After raising $4 million in a Series A round, the food company went ahead and executed on their expansion plans to the USA opening their flagship outlet in Manhattan’s Nolita neighbourhood.
Across 5 funding rounds, the six-year-old company has raised funding to a tune of $2.8 million and announced plans for expansion to Saudi Arabia. Yumamia is a virtual food delivery chain, offering affordable gourmet meals to busy professionals on a demand through subscription plans. While still directly serving customers, the new B2B platform has been doing exceptionally well accounting for over 80% of their revenue.
Founded by Ahmed Shreef, Mai Medhat and Nihal Fares, the seven-year-old company has raised venture funding to the tune of $2.6 million across two funding rounds - Seed and Series A - in the space of 5 years with 500 Startups and Algebra Ventures as it's notable investors.
Headquartered in California, USA, Instabug has raised a total of $2.1M with Y Combinator and Accel as the lead investors across 4 funding rounds. The platform empowers developer teams to improve efficiency and focus on fixing and building what matters with an SDK that is integrable with multiple operating systems. CEO and Co-founder Omar Gabr in a blog post announcing the new identity of Instabug confirmed that 25,000 companies are using its services and 2 billion devices around the world are running their SDK.
This chat-based concierge service allows consumers to do anything from booking flights to delivering groceries. Elves has become a featured app on Facebook Messenger and with up to 30,000 hits generated per month which allows people to ask human agents from travel to hotel bookings to help them find luggage or schedule meetings. From seed round, the company has raised $2M venture capital with participation from Dubai Angel Investors, Kauffman Fellows and Emaar.
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