The decline in funding underscores the current challenges facing startups in the MENA region, as venture capitalists have become increasingly cautious in their investments due to the uncertain economic situation and global market volatility. This does not mean, however, that there is no hope for entrepreneurs in the region.

In fact, some of the most prominent startups have managed to raise significant funds despite the difficult conditions. Meanwhile, fintech startup PayFort closed a $20 million Series B round led by Saudi Venture Capital, demonstrating investors’ strong commitment to supporting promising companies.

These events show that while funding activity may slow down compared to previous years, investors are still willing to invest in quality startups with sound business plans and the potential for future growth. This is good news for the MENA region’s nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has struggled of late due to lack of access to capital.

Despite this encouraging trend, it remains clear that more needs to be done for the MENA region’s startup scene to thrive and compete internationally. Governments in the region must continue their efforts to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs, and private sector stakeholders must look for ways to connect local founders with global players. Only then can we truly unlock the potential of the young generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

February 28, 2023


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