$28 million invested in 40 digital startups. Lebanon leads MENA in deals per capita and per GDP - Lebanon

$28 million invested
in 40 digital startups
Lebanon leads MENA

in deals per capita and per GDP

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In 2018, Lebanon recorded the largest number of digital investment deals per capita and per GDP among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to a recent report by ArabNet.

The report, titled ‘The State of Digital Investments in MENA 2013-2018’, showed that 40 digital start-up investment deals were concluded last year in Lebanon, the same number recorded in Egypt, the most populous Arab country.

The number of deals, however, dropped by 29 percent compared with 2017. The overall number of deals in the MENA region also dropped, falling by 17 percent to 255.

The value of deals concluded in Lebanon plunged by 48 percent to $28.3 million compared with an overall growth of one percent in the MENA region. Despite the decline in investment, Lebanon ranked second in the region in terms of value of deals per million people, and third per GDP.

Lebanon has also emerged as the country with the lowest proportion (5.3 percent) of failed startups over the period 2013-2018. Out of 132 startups, 125 remained active over the period.

“Observing startups who received three rounds of funding or more, the failure rate decreases to zero. This demonstrates that once a startup has hit its stride and reached the growth stage, the chances of failure drop significantly,” the report said.

Lebanon’s share in the total number of investors in the MENA digital sector has slowly increased, to 11 percent in 2018 from seven percent in 2013. The country also has all types of investors with respect to ticket size.

“When examining the ratio of female founders by market, the data indicates that the Levant continues to exhibit the highest proportion of female founders in MENA, with Jordan and Lebanon at 20 percent,” ArabNet said in the report.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jul 03, 2019