Top 10 Middle East Startups to Watch in 2021

Alex Mitchell
11 min readFeb 28, 2021

There were certainly a lot of ups and downs in 2020 to stay the least. A LOT of things changed around the world.

Many businesses failed, but some startups thrived.

I’m excited to write about many of the incredibly impressive startups in the Middle East and North Africa that you need to watch in 2021. These startups not only survived the pandemic but thrived in it, managing to grow incredibly quickly by meeting and exceeding customer needs.

Other Startups to Watch in 2021:

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The Middle East’s Startup Environment

In 2020, a record $1B was invested in MENA-based startups, driven by a massive funding blitz in the 1st half of the year ($725MM).

Surprisingly, mega rounds ($100MM+) were not the driver of this growth, only representing $150MM of the $1B+ total in 2020.

The $150MM Series E investment in EMPG was the largest investment in the region in 2020.

Source Magnitt

Total funding was up 13% from 2019, though total deal count was down by 13% to 496 transactions.

Later stage deals ($500K-$3MM) increased by 52% in 2020, while pre-seed rounds (<$100K) decreased by 50% YoY, the driver for the decrease in total deals.



Alex Mitchell

Product @Kinsured | 5x Product Leader/Founder | Syndicate: | Author: @producthandbook @disruptbook