Over the past several weeks, I’ve written about two of the fastest-growing startup ecosystems: Pakistan and Africa. In this post, I cover the equally exciting and rapidly maturing MENA (Middle East and North Africa) market.
As you’ll see in my list below, MENA has had many interesting startup developments as it strives to transition from a fossil fuel-funded region to one that exports technology and also provides home-grown tech solutions to its people.
In this region especially, it’s been interesting to see how entrepreneurs mix successful startup ideas from other parts of the world with the unique religious and cultural values of the region.
Let’s dive in!
Other Startups to Watch:
- Top 10 Pakistani Startups to Watch
- Top 10 African Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Latin American Startups to Watch
- Top 10 European Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Indian Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Chinese Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Israeli Startups to Watch
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The Middle East’s Startup Environment
Q1 of 2021 began for MENA startups much like Q1 of 2020 with a similar amount of funding raised. In Q2, however, things started to take off dramatically and this rapid growth persisted into Q3.
According to Forbes Middle East calculations, 170 companies announced funding rounds during the first half of 2021, with 120 companies disclosing more than $910MM in financing and debt raised.