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Infographic: The Top 10 MENA Countries For Tech Startups In 2023 The UAE led the MENA region, with it being home to 339 scaleups, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia follow with 140 and 132 scaleups, respectively.

By Ashok Raman Edited by Aby Thomas

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Scaleups are companies that have raised funds above US$1 million since inception. As of December 2022, 749 scaleups across 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region attracted a total of $19.5 billion in capital.

This demonstrated impressive growth from 2021, when the number of scaleups totaled 591, resulting in a total capital raise of $13 billion, representing 50% growth from 2021 to 2022. In comparison, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth across the region was also impressive at 11%, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), during the same period.

Source: Lucidity Insights

The past three years have resulted in growth in the number of scaleups, from 451 to 749 between 2020 and 2022. The scaleup density ratio, which is the number of scaleups per 100,000 inhabitants, and scaleup investing ratio, which is the capital raised as a proportion to the GDP, has also seen an increase of 61% (from 0.10 to 0.16) and 97% (0.11% to 0.22%), respectively, from 2020 to 2022.

The UAE led the MENA region, with it being home to 339 scaleups, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia follow with 140 and 132 scaleups, respectively. UAE scaleups accounted for 65% of total cumulative capital raised across the region, while Saudi Arabia-headquartered scaleups account for 19% of the total capital raised by scaleups to date. Scaleups setup outside of the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, in one of the 16 other countries in MENA region, account for under 20% of all scaleups in the region, while only accounting for 9% of capital raised in the region.

Source: Lucidity Insights

To get the lay of the investor landscape across Dubai and the wider MENA, and for insights provided by the investors backing the startups and scaleups that are changing the face of entrepreneurship in the region, check out our report, Dubai's Venture Capital Ecosystem, by clicking here.

This article was originally published on Lucidity Insights, a partner of Entrepreneur Middle East in developing special reports on the Middle East and Africa's tech and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Related: Building Resilience: Consolidation And The Future Of The MENA Startup Ecosystem

Ashok Raman is a storyteller who uses numbers as his medium. He loves to crunch data, analyze it, and investigate deeper questions until the stories begin to emerge on their own. Ashok comes from a finance and consulting background, having worked in the strategy consulting and private equity fields across the Middle East and Emerging Asia for over 15 years, prior to becoming a business writer. When it comes to tech stories, Ashok has a penchant for startups in the fintech, B2B software-as-a-service, artificial intelligence, and machine learning spaces. He loves writing about venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and the general investor landscape of startup ecosystems. Ashok holds a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a diploma in finance.
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