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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia dominated the regional venture capital landscape with 39 percent of the total deals recorded in the Middle East and North Africa between January and September, reported a Dubai-based startup data platform. 

According to MAGNiTT’s recent MENA venture investment report, a total of 286 deals were recorded in the region and the Kingdom registered a 172 percent increase in the capital raised in the third quarter compared to the April-June period. 

The UAE also registered a quarterly growth of 55 percent over the April-June timeframe.  

Between January and September, the UAE also secured 33 percent of MENA’s overall venture funding deals. 

“The performance of the VC market in the MENA region still lingered near its lower bound. While funding saw a QoQ uptick of 32 percent in Q3, deal flow saw its third consecutive QoQ drop, standing at its lowest level since Q2 2017,” the report stated. 

According to Emirates News Agency, or WAM, MAGNiTT Founder and CEO Philip Bahoshy attributed the third quarter performance to a series of mega-deals involving investments of $100 million or more across the region. 

Speaking at the Expand North Star event in Dubai on Monday, Bahoshy highlighted the rise of new VC funds in the MENA region, including Saudi Arabia’s IMPACT46 and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which successfully raised funds to nurture local startups. 

Moreover, the UAE’s Chimera Capital and Aliph Capital have launched new funds. 

Bahoshy stressed the importance of monitoring the pace at which this “dry powder” translates into investments, with the fourth quarter expected to provide insights into the strength of the 2024 VC landscape, reported WAM. 

In August, MENA startups raised over $76 million through 18 deals, which fares well against the broader Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan region, which raised $139 million across 46 deals in the same period, according to MAGNiTT.    

Notably, the MENA region accounted for two of the three exits recorded in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan in August, highlighting its growing role in the global startup ecosystem. 

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