UAE: The UAE has emerged as a frontrunner in the MENA markets when it comes to non-mega funding for start-ups. According to a recent report, the country has secured more than $150 million across 30 deals in the first quarter of this year, maintaining its leadership position.

The report states, “The UAE continues to lead over its peers in Mena markets in terms of non-mega funding for start-ups, having secured more than $150 million across 30 deals in the first quarter of the year.”

Mega funding, which refers to high-value deals exceeding $100 million, played a significant role in shaping the UAE’s funding landscape. The report highlights that over 60% of the total funding in the UAE came from the top three rounds completed by FinTech company Tabby, dine-in payment disrupter Qlub, and online coffee marketplace Cofe. The report reveals, “The three businesses secured about $100 million collectively.”

Dubai-based Tabby, a buy now, pay later platform, raised an impressive $58 million in a series C round, demonstrating the confidence investors have in the company’s potential. Meanwhile, Cofe secured $15 million to expand its operations into new markets, and Qlub raised $25 million to drive its growth ambitions. Moreover, the report further details that these successful funding rounds played a vital role in propelling the UAE’s start-up ecosystem forward.

Additionally, the report highlights the achievements of other notable start-ups. Metaverse start-up Numi received $20 million from the Venom Ventures Fund, showcasing the increasing interest in this emerging sector. Education technology company Almentor secured $10 million in a round led by e& capital, signaling the growing importance of innovative solutions in the education industry.

The report also sheds light on the trend of start-ups turning to mergers and acquisitions as an alternative to traditional fundraising in a challenging economic environment.

The United Arab Emirates aims to be home to 20 start-ups valued at more than $1 billion by 2031. In line with this goal, the Entrepreneurial Nation initiative was launched, facilitating support for entrepreneurs through public-private partnerships.