As we progress in building ‘Egypt’, we are determined to build it in a way where the startup ecosystem is a strong partner. The government is committed to back entrepreneurs throughout their journey from idea to growth.
Home to a young, vibrant population, Egypt has been leading the innovation scene across MENA region with tech-powered solutions. Despite the pandemic, $190 million flowed into Egyptian startups in 2020, a 30% YoY surge, with 32% of investments coming from international firms. In addition, a number of VCs were attracted to establish presence in Egypt such as US-based VC, Openner, and UAE-based Global Ventures. Egyptian startups’ efforts are paying off. SWVL, a bus ride-sharing startup founded in Egypt, becomes the first startup to go public outside of Egypt, listing in the US Stock Market, NASDAQ, at a $1.5 billion valuation. This makes it the largest African unicorn debut on any US-listed exchange, surpassing Jumia’s debut of $1.1B on the NYSE. Other impressive exits include Japan’s Trend Micro acquisition of cybersecurity company SecureMisr, through its Cysiv subsidiary; California-based Bevy’s acquisition of event management software startup, Eventtus; Oman’s eMushrif acquisition of Edtech startup,Tareeqi; and Miami-based Aleph Holding acquisition of 86% of the digital media startup, Connect Ads. In Healthtech, Ibnsina Pharma, the second-largest pharmaceutical distributor in Egypt, acquired a 75% stake in the online pharmacy, 3elagi, and e-health startup, Vezeeta, raised a $40M Series D funding round. Government and private sector initiatives and associated regulatory reforms are propelling the ecosystem growth. In 2020, Egypt released a law to support projects and enterprises that have been operating for less than 7 years by providing tax, customs, and non-tax incentives. In addition, the law provides monetary incentives for corporations, investment funds, incubators, accelerators and all entities supporting startups and SMEs.
Ecosystem by the numbers
Thanks to the government’s deregulation and drive for financial inclusion and universal mobile penetration (98.6%), investors are pouring money into Cairo’s Fintech startups. Digital financial solutions addressing SMEs, Tribal Credit, raised $34.3M in a Series A round and Paymob, the payment solutions startup, raised $18.5M in Series A. Telda, a 1-month old then digital banking service, raised a $5M pre-seed round led by Sequoia Capital. This is the first venture for Sequoia Capital in MENA.
Logistics & Transportation
Reasons to move your startup to Cairo
Large Customer Market
Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA)
The IT Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) is the executive arm of the Egyptian Ministry of Communication & Information Technology. Since its establishment in 2004, ITIDA’s core mission has been spearheading the development of Egypt’s IT industry to increase its global competitiveness and make it a key contributor to the country’s economic growth.
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