UAE attracts $700m investment in H1 2022
One of the largest economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has cemented its position as the leading destination for venture capital investment in the region.
During the first half (H1) of the year, UAE-based companies closed a total of 85 deals worth $699 million in investments, a recent report by MAGNiTT reveals.
In terms of total funding and number of closed deals, the FinTech sector emerged as the top performing industry in terms of attracting investor dollars, accounting for 34% of total capital invested and 22% of all capital deals -risk in the UAE in the first half of 2022.
In total, the UAE FinTech sector brought in $234 million from 28 deals in the first half of the year, a 249% increase in value compared to the first half of 2021.
Related: The growing role of the UAE as a regional fintech hub
Agriculture debuted as the two most attractive industries for investors after a single $181 million funding round for AgriTech startup Pure Harvest Smart Farms. This single deal also accounted for 26% of the venture capital raised in the country in the first half of 2022, while the top five deals combined accounted for 52% of the total investment raised.
Emirati companies with global ambitions
At the high-value end of the spectrum, venture capital is used by UAE startups to grow in the MENA region and beyond.
When Pure Harvest Smart Farms released its $181 million funding round, co-founder and CEO Sky Kurtz highlighted the mega round as a demonstration that the company “can reliably deploy our high-tech agricultural solutions.” through the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. Now is the time to enter new markets that share similar challenges to ours. »
The UAE’s second-highest-rated VC deal in the first half of the year was with Tabby, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), which raised $54 million in a Series B funding round in March.
Learn more: UAE BNPL Tabby Raises $54M in Series B Funding Round
Read the Tabby CEO interview: Tabby remains independent amid growing consolidation in the MENA BNPL space
Since then, the Dubai-based company has secured an additional $150 million in debt financing to fund its regional expansion plans. And as the company said in a press release at the time, the loan represented the largest credit facility ever secured by a FinTech in the GCC.
Related: BNPL Supplier Tabby Secures $150M Loan to Expand in MENA
Finally, PropTech startup Huspy, which secured the UAE’s fifth-biggest deal with a $37 million Series A, said it would use the capital injection to expand its presence in the UAE, Spain and continue its growth in new European markets.
See more : PropTech Startup Huspy Nets $37M Series A
Strong start to H2 2022
Days into the second half of the year, UAE-based digital bank Yap reasserted the country’s regional dominance in the venture capital space with a $41 million venture capital injection. dollars for its expansion in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana.
More on this: UAE-based digital bank YAP raises $41m to expand into Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt
Additionally, the UAE government last month announced a state-sponsored initiative to promote a business-friendly environment and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
Learn more: UAE government employees are offered a year’s paid leave to start businesses
As PYMNTS reported, citizens employed by the UAE government will now be able to take up to a year off to start their own business. They will be able to do this without risking their jobs and the state will continue to pay them half of their usual salary during their free time.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is a visionary. He understands how important it is to help the citizens of the country realize their dreams,” said Alanoud Alhashmi, Founder and CEO of the Futurist Company, as reported by the Khaleej Times. “Look at Talabat and Souq.com. They have become unicorns in the country thanks to its business-friendly environment.
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe daily EMEA Newsletter.