🗒️ Venture capital funding for Mena start-ups hits $2.3bn and is on track to beat 2021 total

FinTech remained the leading industry for venture capital funding in the Middle East and North Africa during the first nine months of 2022, with 94 deals valued at $747m, Magnitt said. Alamy

The National News: Venture capital funding for start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa rose 20 per cent annually to more than $2.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, putting it on track to potentially surpass the total investments attracted in 2021, a study carried out by Magnitt has found.

Funding reached $512 million in the third quarter, which was the lowest since the first quarter of 2021, the data intelligence company said in its quarterly update, citing global economic and geopolitical factors.

Saudi start-up ZenHR raises $10m to grow operations across Mena region
That, however, put total funding in 2022 at more than 80 per cent of the 2021 level, leaving the industry with a full quarter to match or even surpass last year's total of about $2.8bn.

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🗒️ BEYOND Expo | Is investment in Web3 a hype or science?

Photo by GuerrillaBuzz Crypto PR on Unsplash

Technode: The total amount of money invested in Web3, which is widely regarded as the next generation of the internet, reached more than $23 billion in 2022, according to Crunchbase data. Though venture capital seems to be slowing down their Web3 funding rush, Web3 is still among the most interesting areas for VCs.

Three guests from Web3 and investment companies spoke with moderator ShinWei Teh, an Investment Banker at Credit Suisse, about whether Web3 investment is all hype or based on science, as well as how to evaluate the performance of Web3 companies and other Web3-relate questions at the BEYOND Expo 2022 tech conference, held online in BEYOND Metaverse.

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🗒️ The trouble with startup accelerators

Axios: The recent shuttering of a startup accelerator run by On Deck is a reminder that while these programs provide nascent companies access to investors, mentorship and practical support, they are also businesses themselves.

Why it matters: Startup accelerators largely get attention because of the highly valued companies they help along the way, how they design (and promote) their programs, and the high-profile gurus who lead them.

  • Y Combinator, founded in 2005, has become the best recognized and respected accelerator in the world. Still, a number of others have since built successful programs.

Background: On Deck was initially founded in 2016 as a way to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with each other to explore possible business ideas. It expanded last year into a formal startup accelerator program called ODX.

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🗒️ Could corporates be good matchmakers for startups and VCs?

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Techcrunch: loudflare last week announced a $1.25 billion funding program for startups that build on its software, Cloudflare Workers. But this isn’t a corporate venture fund and that sum is not company money.

Rather, it’s an initiative in which the cloud infrastructure company curates a group of its startup customers and presents them to venture capitalists, each of which committed $50 million to back companies building on Cloudflare Workers. The list of 26 venture funds includes big players like NEA and Boldstart and smaller firms like Pear VC. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told me that number has continued to grow since the project was announced in September.

The reason this is interesting is that while public companies have been drastically increasing their presence in startup funding in recent years, it’s largely been through one of two playbooks: Companies were either setting aside a sleeve of capital on their balance sheet to back startups in adjacent or complementary sectors to their own, or they were launching an accelerator program.

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