Fintech Funding: MENA Region’s Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt Raised Substantial Amounts in Q1 2021, but UK Remains a Global Leader in Fintech

MENA region startups secured $170 million in capital during March 2021, which is reportedly a 6% increase month-over-month, across 43 different deals, according to local sources.

This notably takes the total funds raised during Q1 2021 to $396 million across 125 different deals, which is quite a strong start to the year for the region, Wamda reports.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has again managed to take the lead when it came to the amount of funding received last month, with around $130 million in investments acquired by 11 high-potential startups. This was mainly down to two major deals involving Agritech firm Pure Harvest (raised $50 million) and last mile delivery Lyve (secured $35 million).

Meanwhile, Flat6Labs’ cohort in Egypt helped push the nation’s funding rounds to 18. The Middle Eastern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia saw 11 startups secure $30 million in total during March.

Notably, Fintech has brought in the largest number of investment deals with 10. However, it was actually Agritech and logistics businesses that acquired the largest amount of funding, mainly because of  transactions finalized by Pure Harvest and Lyve, Wamda confirmed.

When reviewing the funding activity during Q1 2021, the UAE secured $256 million in investments across 38 different deals. And Egyptian startups acquired $22 million across 34 separate deals, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia closed 28 deals valued at $76 million in total (during the first quarter of this year).

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt have managed to maintain their dominance in the MENA region in terms of overall startup and funding activity.

Fintech funding across the globe has been quite steady.

The UK Fintech industry has started the year by securing $2.9 billion in capital during the first three months of 2021. This represents over a 330% increase when compared to the same period last year.

The funding so far in 2021 has been secured via 117 deals in the UK, accounting for nearly 70% of the total amount invested during all of last year.

Local trade body Innovate Finance stated that the data indicates that investors might no longer be hesitating to make substantial investments and funding may return to pre-COVID levels (or higher).

During Q1 2021, there have been 6 mega-rounds in the UK (valued at $100m or more). These figures have already matched the seven reached in total last year. The rounds include: Checkout.com at $450 million, Starling Bank at $376 million, Blockchain.com at $120 million and then followed by $300 million. There was also the $300 million in funding acquired by Rapyd.  Additionally, there was the $180 million secured by PPRO Financial, and another $90 million acquired later on by the firm.

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