Why Are Startups Attracting So Much Attention In the MENA region?
Saudi arabia–MENA region is all for startups and this can be seen in their handsome investment portfolio. Dominating the scene is the Kingdom aka Saudi Arabia. What has been seen as the reason for this sudden acceleration is a healthy growing talent pool, technology infrastructure and consumer adoption.
Leading the figure of growth is Saudi Arabia, with more than 45 start-ups valued at a minimum of $1 billion expected to emerge from the Middle East and North Africa region by 2030. Startups have seen an exponential growth in the last few years. This is all because there has been a consumer need of niche things which needs to be met and addressed.
Technology has a strong role to play in this delivery. According to statistical information gathered by the private equity company CB Insights, there are more than 1,100 unicorns — start-ups with a valuation of at least $1bn — around the world, with a cumulative valuation of more than $3.83 trillion.
Startups are increasingly seeking funds and there are myriad angel investors present to invest their moolah into them. The presence of hectocorns is as impressive, where three are worth at least $100bn — TikTok parent ByteDance, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and e-commerce platform Shein.
Some of the world’s biggest companies used to be unicorns, including technology majors Facebook and Google, and home rental company Airbnb.
According to STV, venture capital deployment in Mena more than doubled to $2.58bn last year from $1.09bn in 2020. In Saudi Arabia alone, it almost quadrupled to $548 million last year from $148m in 2021, it said.
Of the at least 45 unicorns STV is predicting to be created by 2030, one is forecast to have a valuation of about $20bn and become a decacorn, or a start-up with a value of at least $10bn. Five are predicted to be valued at $5bn by 2030, while 13 are seen with $2bn.