A new report on the state of venture capital activity in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has shown that the investment in Dubai based EMPG in April was the largest deal in the region throughout the whole of last year. The report by startup data platform Magnitt puts the deal which saw OLX Group lead a $150 million round in the property portal and marketplace operator at the top of the pile for venture capital deals in the region.
The agreement between OLX Group and EMPG in April not only saw the latter take control of OLX assets in Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and The UAE, but also saw EMPG become the first Emirati tech unicorn, a feat that did not go un-celebrated by the country's press pack. According to the Magnitt report, the deal between the two classifieds giants was also the main reason why companies from The UAE saw 56% of all capital invested in the region in 2020.
The report highlights the fact that overall, deal value was up 13% on 2019 with the value of venture capital flowing into the market topping $1 billion for the first time despite the number of deals decreased by 13% over the 12 months. In a region which has not been as badly affected by the global pandemic as Europe or North America and which still has a lot of untapped markets and a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem, classifieds companies in MENA can expect to see more venture capital looking their way over the next year.