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Corporate appetite in MENA grows in 5 years – Arabnet Report

Corporate appetite in MENA grows in 5 years – Arabnet Report
70% of MENA’s corporate investors are GCC-based companies

Mubasher: The entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been grabbing global and regional attention, with higher investor appetite and interest in the region’s startups, according to Arabnet report.

The “State of Digital Investments in MENA 2013-2018” report showed that $674 million was invested in 255 deals in 2018, with the UAE leading the entrepreneurial activity by holding the highest share of investors, number and value of deals.

Corporate investment initiatives, either standalone funds or opportunistic investments, account for 17% of all investors across the region.

Arabnet report further added that “the ratio of corporate investors does not differ much from 2017 figures; it represents 17% of the MENA investment community in 2018, compared to 18% in 2017.”

Almost two-thirds or 70% of MENA’s corporate investors are companies located in the GCC area. The UAE tops the list with 36% of corporate investors, followed by Saudi Arabia with 19% and Lebanon with 12%.

“Historically, Saudi-based corporate investors overshadowed the rest of the MENA region; however, in recent years, other markets have quickly stepped up the pace while Saudi Arabia witnesses a decrease in its share of corporate investors from 33% in 2013 to 19% in 2018,” the report highlighted.

Following the UAE’s corporate growth, both Lebanon and Egypt have witnessed a big spurt throughout the years.

Examples on the corporate growth across MENA

UAE: The partner for luxury brands Chalhoub Group has recently invested in the UAE-based startup Zbooni, alongside B&Y Venture Partners, as the corporate’s first investment.

UAE: Ginco Venture Capital by Ginco Group which invests in Series B companies to support founder development with an investment portfolio of more than 25 companies by far.

Egypt: Glint Consulting has invested in five firms to offer consultation, business support, and capital investments.

Egypt: Nahdet Misr Publishing Group has established a corporate venture capital (VC), EdVentures, which incubates, accelerates, and invests in educational and cultural startups at different stages.

Lebanon: The telecommunications company, touch, launched the Touch Innovation Program (TIP) to foster startups through providing mentoring, training, working space and much more.