MENA's startup growth continues to be led by Dubai: over $11.7B lifetime raised across 306 scaleups

By Erika Masako Welch, 20 June 2023

Forget About Startups. It's All About Scaleups.

In recent years, the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region has witnessed significant growth of scaleups, defined as startups who have raised US $1 million in capital, or more. In 2022 alone, 158 new scale-ups were added, bringing the grand total to 749 scale-ups across the 19 countries in MENA (excluding Israel), that have raised a total of over US $19.5 billion cumulatively over the years.

We see the same trends continue. Dubai was the first entrepreneurial hub in MENA (excluding Israel) for start-up activity, and it continues to maintain this leadership position.

It has acted as a safe harbor for many regional start-up founders to relocate to, to get better access to talent, capital and mentorship. Every year, more and more investors have also

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Dubai's Venture Capital Ecosystem

There are 749 scale-ups that have raised over US $1 million in fundraising in the Middle East and North Africa region; collectively raising over US $19.5 billion, cumulatively, as of December 2022. Over 40% of these scale-ups call Dubai home.