Egypt

Cairo

MEMBERS:
Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA)

"Egypt’s digital transformation strategy had a direct impact on the betterment of the local entrepreneurship scene, making not only major cities economically competitive but local communities too."

Dr. Amr Talaat
Minister of ICT
Top 10 Global Emerging Ecosystem in Funding
Top 15 Global Ecosystem in Affordable Talent
#3 MENA Ecosystem in Talent & Experience

Highlights

Egypt’s startup ecosystem is among the most vibrant in Africa and has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years. In its third quarter 2021 Africa Funding Report, Digest Africa reported that Egypt had the highest number of deals in Africa and third highest total funding. The Egyptian ecosystem saw a 168% year-on-year increase in capital investment in 2021 to reach a new record of $491 million, according to Magnitt’s 2021 Egypt Venture Investment Report.


In 2020, an investment law designated areas in need of development. Companies in these areas can deduct 50% of investment costs, and firms in certain industries, such as renewable energy, will not be subject to taxes or customs duties on equipment purchases. In April 2022, the General Authority for Investment and Freezones, the Financial Regulatory Authority, and the Information Technology Industry Development Agency signed a cooperation protocol to make it easier for local and international VCs to invest in Egyptian startups.


In September 2021, Plug and Play and ITIDA announced the opening of an accelerator and incubator to develop Egyptian startups. The three-year agreement outlined an accelerator program that will run two cycles each year, targeting a total of 60 companies. The incubator will provide support to 60 early-stage startups each year, split into two cycles.


Four major tech funds launched in 2021: Algebra Ventures’ $90 million fund, Sawari Ventures’ $28 million fund, Benya and Openner’s $50 million fund, and Sequence Ventures’ EGP 500 million ($2.7 million) Deep Tech fund.Cairo Angels also announced the first close of its $5 million micro-VC fund.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$435 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$2.7 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$165 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$1.2 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$7 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
132 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
16
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
6
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$836 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
5.7 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Fintech

In September 2021, the government passed a law allowing the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to give out banking licenses to Fintech firms. Egyptian Fintech companies raised $159 million across 32 deals in 2021, a 300% increase on the previous year, according to the CBE. The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire jointly launched a EGP 1 billion ($55 million) Fintech fund in September 2021. Cairo-based Thndr raised a $20 million Series A in February 2022.

Logistics & Transportation

Incubator Logivators launched in 2021 to support Egyptian startups in the Logistics & Transportation sub-sector. Egypt is home to 33 Logistics startups, 88% of which are based in Cairo Fulfillment services startup Flextock raised $3.25 million of pre-seed funding in May 2021. In September 2021, ride-hailing app Halan closed a $120 million venture funding round, becoming Egypt’s first ever mega deal. In March 2022, Swvl became the first company launched from Africa and the second in MENA to list on the Nasdaq via a SPAC merger.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Cairo

Market Access

Egypt’s strategic location and extensive international trade network make it an ideal platform for companies doing business in MENA and Africa. With a young population of 20 million tech savvy consumers, Cairo provides a perfect testbed for innovation and an attractive market for scalability.


Young, Skilled Talent

Egypt’s population of about 102 million people, is rapidly growing, providing companies with a large and growing domestic market and vast talent pool to recruit from. Over half of the country’s population is under 30, and many of them are multi-lingual and technically skilled.

Abundant Resources

Entrepreneurs can draw talent from over 170 universities and institutes producing 500,000 annual graduates, as well as access a network of over 40 incubators and accelerators and 80 coworking spaces. The IT Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) is also on tap to support entrepreneurs.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

"Startup Genome is proud to partner with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency to review Cairo's startup ecosystem performance and individual ecosystem success factors. The results, ranking Cairo as a Top 15 Global Ecosystem and #2 MENA Ecosystem in the Affordable Talent category, combined with a large domestic market, make Cairo an exciting ecossytem for regional founders and investors alike."
Stephan Kuester, Head of Ecosystem Strategy of Startup Genome

Key Ecosystem Players

Startup Genome
Partners

500 Startups
A15
AUC Venture Lab
Algebra Ventures
EdVentures
Endure
FEPS Business Incubator
Falak Startups
Flat6 Labs Cairo
Global Ventures
HIM angel
Ideavelopers
Innoventures
Kamelezer
Sawari Ventures
Seedstars
Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC)
The Cairo Angels

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.