While the UAE still had the largest number of deals in 2018, Tunisia, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and Syria all had higher growth rates year-on-year than Emirates, according to the latest ‘State of Digital Investments in MENA by Arabnet’, a holistic analysis of the MENA technology investors and investments.
“Oman and Yemen witnessed the biggest percentage of change, in terms of deals, from last year (129 per cent and 250 per cent respectively),” it stated.
“Oman has moved up two places since 2017, currently ranking fifth; this is a clear reflection of the investment prowess of the Oman Technology Fund (OTF),” the report stated.
Eng Yousuf al Harthi, CEO of OTF said, “Arabnet’s report reflects the results of the Oman Technology Fund’s team work in the recent past through the three investment programmes which are Techween, Wadi Accelerator and Jasoor Ventures.
“This is because of the investment efficiency of OTF that it has invested in 22 technology companies compared to 17 companies in 2017.”
According to the report, the UAE and Saudi Arabia dominate in the GCC region, Lebanon in the Levant, and Egypt in North Africa. “The investor community continues to be concentrated in the four main countries that contribute to 71 per cent of the investor pie. The UAE hosts the largest proportion of all MENA investors (31 per cent ), while Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Egypt combined account for 40 per cent.”
The fastest growing segment of the investor community over the past five years represents accelerators, displaying an increase of 32 per cent from 2013 to 2018.
Examining the number of deals per country over the last six years, the UAE (348) features almost double the number of deals in Egypt and Lebanon. The next set of countries with the highest number of deals includes Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, with an approximate average of 200 deals per country.