This report investigates the technology investment landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The report, a comprehensive research on digital investors and investments in the region, analyzes 1,091 regional investments and features 199 institutional investors. Stay updated with year-on-year market trends and investment opportunities.

31% is the mean annual growth rate of tech investors in the MENA (2012-2017).


70% of the investor community is concentrated in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan.


298 is the number of deals the UAE has conducted over the past five years.

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Lebanese Innovation Economy - Tech Startups 2018
This report is a holistic study utilizing a mixed-methodology approach while analyzing the entrepreneurship ecosystem. First, the research measures the perceptions of Lebanese tech startups regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The survey targets owners of tech and digital startups with a working product or service based in Lebanon. Second, the research incorporates roundtable findings. The roundtable, conducted in Beirut in 2017 and titled “Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, consisted of industry stakeholders and decision makers. It focused on measuring the impact of Circular 331 and evaluating market opportunities. By combining the findings of the quantitative startup survey and the qualitative roundtable findings, the report aims to highlight the gaps and strengths of the ecosystem. The study also aims to guide vested stakeholders to make more informed decisions in their investments, programs, projects, and policies.

65% of startups raised seed amounts, highlighting the fact that a large portion of deals in Lebanon remain in their early stages.


80% of startups claim that the need for ecosystem support motivated them to apply to accelerator programs.


46% of startups mention that they have received ecosystem support such as mentorship in marketing and pitching and 40% received access to workspaces.

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KSA Innovation Economy - Tech Startups 2017
Since 2016 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working on numerous economic diversification programs in the aim of lessening its economic dependence on oil. These economy-boosting initiatives include support systems for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. This research measures perceptions of Saudi Arabian tech startups regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The study aims to highlight the gaps and strengths of the ecosystem by surveying owners of technology and digital startups based and registered in Saudi Arabia, and respondents are all startup founders, co-founders, partners, or employees with equity.

78% of Saudi startups raised at least one round of funding - reflecting a robust early-stage ecosystem!


48% of Saudi entrepreneurs identified infrastructure as a main strength of the ecosystem.


24% of Saudi startups raised funding from angel networks.

31% of Saudi startups find it very easy / somewhat easy to attract local business.


Services received the most by Saudi tech startups are mentorship and training (33%) and workspace (31%).


Saudi startups have high access to tech support: mobile (35%), fixed broadband (29%), and cloud computing (31%).


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E-Business Skills Gap Threatens Sustainable Growth 2017
ArabNet and Notre Dame University investigate the skills gap affecting digital business in the MENA region, focusing mainly on Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. It will present necessary insight for business owners, managers, employees, job-seekers as well as educational institutions to approach the skills gap crisis in the most effective way.

89% of survey respondents confirm that knowledge of the business is the most required technical skill


45% of survey respondents said that social media skill is the skill least in demand


The highest ratio of females to males working in the digital sector is 44% in the UAE, followed by the KSA at 24% and 23% in Lebanon

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The State of Digital Investments in MENA
2013-2016 Report
Get a detailed overview of the equity-based investments being poured into the digital landscape in MENA. The report is the most comprehensive research on investors and investments in technology startups in MENA to date, featuring 150 institutional investors in startups and 760 transactions. Be up to date with year-on-year market trends, growth and arising opportunities.

$900 million was invested in tech startups in 2016, more than 2013-2015 combined


64% of all funding institutions are concentrated in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon


82% of all regional deals are transactional, media (adv) and SaaS business models

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Smart Cities
Public Services And Digital Adoption
APRIL 2017 Report
SMART CITIES, PUBLIC SERVICES AND DIGITAL ADOPTION 2017 In partnership with Smart Dubai Get the insights you need on consumer behavior in the UAE, regarding digital urban services - including motivators and barriers to adoption. This report can help you shape your business strategy when it comes to e-services and ICT, all the while making the most out of the opportunities available within the public and private sectors. 62% of UAE respondents see time efficiency as key benefit to digital adoption 40% of UAE residents rarely visit a public service center, and prefer digital services 30% to 50% of Dubai respondents actively use government utility apps.

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E-Commerce Insights And Best Practices
2016 Report
With this report, ArabNet and OMD aim to provide brands and decision makers with the insights and best practices as to develop their e-commerce strategies and plans. The research investigates the main social media channels, mobile strategies, as well as logistics and payments' best practices adopted by e-commerce players, in addition to exploring consumer behavior and the purchasing cycle. It also looks at the top future challenges and trends facing e-commerce businesses in the region.

The research is based on a survey of 13 executives from some of the top e-commerce companies in the MENA region, across both e-retail and service marketplaces.

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The State of Digital Investments in MENA
2013-2015 Report
This research report provides an overview of the technology investment landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The first section focuses on the investor community, and examines the availability of funding sources across markets, ticket sizes, and how this has developed over time. The second section focuses on the investments that took place between 2013 and 2015, and analyzes them by market, ticket size, industry, life span and gender. The third section analyzes investments made by corporate venture funds across markets. The aim of the report is to provide a holistic perspective on the industry, identifying trends and pinpointing gaps in the market.
The report findings are based on data collected from 48 investors and accelerators in the MENA region, specifically in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia and Bahrain. The report also aggregates information from publicly announced investments, and those listed on public databases such as Crunchbase, AngelList and others. The report analyzes a total of 480 investments in regional startups by regional and global investors. However, due to the private and proprietary nature of the investments, there may be deals that have not been included in the analysis. In the case where investments were announced without official investment values by either investor or startup, ArabNet has estimated the values based on history of involved investors, age of the company, and stage of the investment.

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Digital Banking
Adoption In MENA
2016 Report
The data was mainly analyzed based on three criteria: country of residence, monthly personal income, and respondents being adopters vs. non-adopters of digital banking. Ultimately, the ArabNet Digital Banking Adoption Trends in MENA report provides data necessary for the development of a more cutting-edge banking sector in the MENA region.
ArabNet has launched this study to determine the impact of digital platforms on the banking sector. The study investigates the factors influencing digital banking adoption, usage of digital banking services, branch visit habits and behaviors, preferred payment methods, and finally the adoption of alternative methods of payment.

The findings are based on a study conducted in the KSA, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, during the month of January 2016. The sample distribution includes 500 bank account holders per country, who own a phone and have internet connectivity (90% are smartphone / tablet users). The survey was administered by On Device Research.

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Top App Trends Dominating MENA
IN 2015 Report
The report will present the survey findings along three main themes: 1) App download, usage, and discovery patterns; 2) Top app categories and Arabic apps; and 3) App spending and payment behavior.

The findings will be further analyzed based on age, gender, and household income – on both a country and regional level. Where they exist, outliers will be highlighted and explained, if possible.
ArabNet is presenting this report for app publishers, developers, investors, and agencies looking to make the most of the opportunities available in the app economy in the MENA region. This report will help them understand the trends, habits, spending budget, profiles, and preferences of users in order to make informed decisions on development and expansion strategies.

The report findings are based on a study conducted in May 2015 on the mobile app economy in the MENA region, specifically in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Representative samples of 500 smartphone owners from each country completed a survey administered by On Device Research.

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