UAE, Saudi Arabia lead MENA VC fundraising

DUBAI, 16th October, 2023 (WAM) — MENA venture capital funding in the third quarter saw $250 million raised across 78 deals, a 32% increase compared to Q2 of 2023, according to the Q3 2023 MENA Venture Investment Premium Report by startup data platform MAGNiTT. This contributed to $1.4 billion raised through 286 transactions in the first nine months of 2023. Saudi Arabia and UAE led the region in capital raised, with the Kingdom reporting a 172% QoQ increase. Conversely, the Emirates registered a 55% upswing in new funding. By the number of transactions, UAE has seen the most activity, capturing a third of all deals closed in MENA for the first nine months of 2023. Speaking at Expand North Star AI Monday, MAGNiTT Founder and CEO Philip Bahoshy , attributed to Q3 performance to a series of mega deals ($100 million plus investment deals) across the region. In a media note ahead of the report’s launch, Baloshy noted the rise in new VC funds. In MENA, UAE’s Chimera Capital and Aliph Capital have launched new funds, and in Saudi Arabia IMPACT46 and KAUST have raised funds to deploy in local startups. “We’ll be keenly tracking the pace at which this dry powder translates into investments. In fact, investment activity in Q4’23 will be a good indicator of the strength of 2024’s VC landscape.” Expand North Star (ENS) hosted AI Monday today to showcase over 400 AI- infused startups. Moreover, AI was a common theme across all the conference tracks. AI is booming, and startups are at the heart of this revolution. AI triggered the current AI phenomenon when it launched ChatGPT in November last year. Today, generative AI has the potential to generate up to $4.4 trillion in value across industries. A panel discussion titled “Generative AI Market Map worth $98 Billion: VCs Hungry for Startups in AI and DeepTech: Overhyped or the Next Frontier?” discussed how AI startup innovations are transforming the enterprise. The session was moderated by Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner, Blockchain Founders Fund. During the session, the panelists discussed challenges for early-stage startups and what due diligence is required of them as they grow. Dhianu Das, Founder, Agility Ventures, India, Dan Bowyer, Partner, SuperSeed VC, UK and Chirag Gupta, Managing Partner, 8X Ventures, India, noted that a challenging macro environment and tighter spending are pushing companies to reduce costs. To address these pain points, organisations are turning to AI has proved invaluable in helping businesses streamline operations. “Eventually, every business will be an AI business. This demonstrates how transformative AI is. To me, AI is this generation’s internet moment,” said Bowyer. Hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) Expand North Star marks its largest-ever edition this year, from 15-18 October 2023, at its new Dubai Harbour venue. The landmark global gathering welcomes over 1,800 startups across GITEX Global and Expand North Star from more than 100 countries. More than 1,000 investors with a combined total of over US$ 1 trillion under management are in Dubai, which is rapidly emerging as the heart of the world’s digital economy.

Source: Emirates News Agency