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H1 2023: Market Map of Funded Startups in the Middle East

During H1 2023, the Middle East venture capital ecosystem garnered $770M over 154 transactions. This is the lowest half yearly number of deals the region has seen since H1 2017. The funding landscape has been uplifted by $289M from two MEGA deals ($100M+ rounds) completed by Saudi Arabia’s E-Commerce/Retail startups Floward and Nana. If we exclude the impact of these deals, funding has decreased by 55% YoY.

At the country level, UAE and Saudi Arabia remained the Middle East VC ecosystem’s king-pins. Saudi Arabia, fueled by two $100M+ funding rounds, earned its position as the top-funded geography. In terms of deals, UAE reigned supreme with 58 funded startups in the first half of 2023.

The top five funded startups accounted for 56% of the total capital raised across the Middle East. Three of these were in E-commerce/Retail and the remaining two were FinTech startups, UAE’s Tabby and Bahrain’s Tarabut Gateway.

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