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Saudi Arabia drives the Middle East region in attracting $2.6bn startup investment in 2021  

RIYADH: The Middle East hit a record investment amounting to $2.6 billion in 2021 as entrepreneurship booms in Saudi Arabia, revealed MAGNiTT, a startup data provider for emerging venture markets.

“We are only scratching the surface in terms of the potential for the region,” MAGNiTT CEO Philip Bahoshy told Arab News, on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, in Riyadh.

As an entrepreneur seeking to raise funds, he said there has never been a better time to pitch to regional investors.

Although Bahoshy believes that country has no bearing on a business’ success, he said that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt are becoming the ideal locations for any startup to succeed.

MAGNiTT CEO said that the data shows that each of these geographies has an increased level of investment and deal flow. “But the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the three largest hubs that are evolving into the must-be locations for any founder who wants to be successful here in the region.”

Scale is the name of the game, said Bahoshy, adding that a business needs to be “operating in multiple geographies.”

He underlined that the regional governments at all levels are making it easier for startups to get access to markets, talent, and funding.

Transparency of data

Aiming to aggregate all venture capital investments across emerging venture markets, MAGNiTT’s chief said the company was created out of “the need for transparency of data and information.”

Bahoshy said that from what the company covers, the emerging market space is booming in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey. “It’s really good to see the engagement that’s happening here at a local level.”

As the company has a strong presence in the MENA region and other countries, he said they are able to apply a methodology to report on ecosystem growth in emerging venture markets that they now cover.

Starting from five interns to now 30 employees working globally, MAGNiTT’s CEO said their goal is to continue to strengthen the product, the revenue, and the business propositions for their clients.

It wants to continue to develop more analytical tools, crack the valuation model, increase the depth of research, and continue to provide that as a solution for clients, Bahoshy concluded.



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