Main topic: Founders Factory Africa raises $114 million to scale its model and support African tech startups.
1. Founders Factory Africa combines venture studio and VC models to support early-stage founders in Africa.
2. The firm has partnered with corporates and impact investors to run programs in healthtech, fintech, and agritech sectors.
3. The raised capital will be used to hire talent, bolster support structures, and provide follow-on funding to existing startups.
Hint on Elon Musk: This article does not mention Elon Musk.
Saudi startup FlyAkeed has raised $15.2 million in a series A funding round led by Sanabil Investments, with participation from Elm Co., Artal Capital, and Al Rajhi Partners. The travel technology startup plans to use the funds to strengthen its presence in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as develop fintech solutions for user experiences and cost management tools for business trips.
Qatar Investment Authority will invest $1 billion for a 1 percent stake in Reliance Retail Ventures, valuing the company at $100 billion. This investment comes after Reliance Retail Ventures raised about $6.4 billion from various investors, including KKR, General Atlantic, and the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region have attracted significant investor interest, with MENA startups raising over $76 million in August 2023 and accounting for two of the three exits recorded in the region, indicating its growing role in the global startup ecosystem, although the first half of the year saw a decline in capital attracted compared to the previous year. Additionally, PIF's Jada Fund of Funds Co. has committed to Aliph Capital's GCC fund to support SMEs in Saudi Arabia, and UAE fintech MALY has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. Furthermore, Rewaa, an inventory management platform, has raised $27 million in a Series A funding round led by Wa'ed Ventures.
Global venture funding in August 2023 reached $22 billion, a 19% increase from the previous month but a 16% decrease from July 2022, with late-stage funding experiencing a year-over-year increase for the first time in 18 months, according to Crunchbase data. However, early-stage funding nearly halved and seed funding was down by around one-third compared to the previous year, while deal counts in August 2023 were almost half of the previous year. The largest fundings were in transportation, sustainability, and biotechnology, and the hope for the startup funding landscape lies in upcoming IPOs of well-funded venture-backed companies.
Despite a decrease in venture capital investments in June, new crypto projects are still attracting funding, including Orbital's $6.4 million raise for expanding blockchain payment infrastructure, unshETH's $3.3 million seed round for decentralized finance solutions, ZTX's $13 million funding for Web3 infrastructure development, Stroom Network's $3.5 million raise for Bitcoin staking, and Fxhash's $5 million funding for its digital art platform.