Turkey’s central bank raises interest rate to 40% to control rising inflation

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CAIRO: A wave of investment deals has blossomed across the Middle East region, with UAE-based venture capital firms landing a handful of deals across several sectors.

In a significant move highlighting the growing interest in healthcare technology, Dubai-headquartered Wamda Capital participated in a $4.7 million seed funding round for Turkish tech startup of health, Salus.

This round marks a significant milestone for the company, bringing together notable investors in its mission to revolutionize corporate mental health services.

Operating in over 45 countries, including Saudi Arabia, HotDesk will aim to support XSPACE’s debut in Riyadh through a technical integration partnership. (Provided)

Northzone led the investment round, with contributions from 500 Emerging Europe, Pitchdrive and Collective Spark, the HVAC arm of Is Bank.

The round also saw participation from a number of angel investors, including Fırat Ileri from Hummingbird Ventures, Adam Anders from Anterra Capital and Inanc Balci from Crestone VC and Lazada.

Other investors include Egem Eraslan of Midas, Can Yucaoglu of MAP Investment, Kivanc Semen of Dataguard, as well as Mehmet Yilmaz and Joshua Cornelius of Freeletics and Zavvy.

Founded in 2022 by Alperen Adikti and Dincer Karaduman, Salus offers a range of services, including therapy and coaching sessions, as well as personal care content, tailored to the needs of the corporate environment.

Alperen Adikti, co-founder and CEO of Salus

“Closing one of the largest funding rounds ever raised by a Turkish startup just 16 months after its inception, in a challenging macroeconomic climate, is not only an important milestone – it is a testament to the urgent need and confidence in the mission of Salus. We are excited and ready to move forward with the support of our exceptional investors and partners,” said Adikti.

The newly acquired capital is earmarked for three areas of expansion. Salus plans to significantly expand its clinical network, enabling broader and more varied mental health support.

Closing one of the largest funding rounds ever raised by a Turkish startup is a testament to the urgent need and confidence in Salus’ mission. We are excited and ready to move forward with the support of our exceptional investors and partners.

Alperen Adiktico-founder and CEO of Salus

The focus will also be on improving user experience, as well as expanding its business-to-business operations, with the aim of establishing itself as a leader in enterprise mental health solutions.

UAE’s Your Compass Joins Investors in Fork N Knife’s $800,000 Seed Round

UAE-based investment firm Your Compass has joined a cohort of investors from the Middle East and around the world in cloud kitchen operator Fork N Knife’s recent seed funding round, whose headquarters is in Turkey, which raised $800,000.

Founded in 2022 by Nasr Aldin and Mohamed Haroun, Fork N Knife specializes in helping restaurants improve their delivery services while minimizing investment costs.

Founded in 2022 by Yassir Nasr-Aldin, Fork N Knife promotes a cooking-as-a-service model, which allows restaurants and food enthusiasts to launch and grow their own businesses without upfront capital.

This model not only lowers the barriers to entry for aspiring food entrepreneurs, but also paves the way for creative culinary concepts to flourish without the typical financial constraints of starting a food business.

“Throughout my eight-year journey in cloud kitchens, witnessing the evolution of the industry, it became clear that the cloud kitchen business domain needed a unique model to solve the real challenges facing cloud kitchens. restaurateurs. Instead of reducing fixed costs, as is common in cloud kitchens, we eliminated them completely,” Nasr-Aldin said.

The growth of startups in our VBs is a testament to the collaborative efforts between our founders and business building experts, says Awad Makkawi, Director of Business Building at Modus.

With this new infusion of capital, Fork N Knife has ambitious plans to expand its geographic presence. The startup is considering a strategic entry into the African and European markets, with the aim of capitalizing on these regions’ opportunities in cloud kitchen services.

This expansion is expected to significantly amplify Fork N Knife’s impact on the global restaurant landscape.

Modus Capital launches 8 startups with an investment of $2.8 million

In a significant boost to the startup ecosystem, UAE-based Modus Capital has unveiled the launch of eight new startups, representing a substantial investment of $2.8 million in these companies.

This initiative is part of Modus Capital’s ambitious venture creation program, which aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

Startups debuting under this program include JamaliBox, MDBX and Monet, as well as Oscar, Seva, Sindbad.

Stornest and Your Social Smile are the other two companies involved.

Each company, with its unique business model and market approach, is poised to make a significant impact in its respective industries.

Modus Capital operates a comprehensive network of venture creators, supported by a $50 million venture origination fund.

“The growth of startups in our VBs is a testament to the collaborative efforts between our founders and our business building experts. Once the foundation is established, I am confident that their missions and products will resonate with customers and potential investors, paving the way for further success and funding,” said Awad Makkawi, Director of Venture Building at Modus.

This network spans key regional hubs including Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo, reflecting Modus Capital’s commitment to supporting startups in various markets.

Modus Capital’s approach to venture capital creation involves an intensive nine-month program designed to empower established and emerging founders.

This program goes beyond financial support, encompassing a range of non-financial offerings such as mentoring, access to essential networking opportunities and other valuable resources.

UAE Proptech HotDesk partners with XSPACE

UAE flexible workspace solution HotDesk has announced a partnership with Saudi company XSPACE in a bid to boost the Kingdom’s market.

Operating in over 45 countries, including Saudi Arabia, HotDesk will aim to support XSPACE’s debut in Riyadh through a technical integration partnership.

As part of this strategic cooperation, XSPACE sites will be built on top of HotDesk’s technology stack, including HotDeskOS for efficient coworking management, HotDesk Marketplace for reaching customers, and integrations with its enterprise offerings.

Founded in 2020 by Mohamed Khaled, Hotdesk creates an opportunity for companies with underutilized workspaces to generate additional revenue by subletting their vacant offices as on-demand workspaces.

MENA fintech sector shows resilience amid business slowdown

Faced with the general slowdown in venture capital in 2023, the fintech sector in the Middle East and North Africa has demonstrated remarkable resilience, according to the latest report from MAGNiTT.

The analysis shows the sector raised $484 million across 66 deals in the first nine months of the year.

Maintaining its position as a dominant force in the MENA region, fintech captured 36% of all funding and accounted for 23% of total transactions during the first three quarters of 2023.

Despite the prevailing economic headwinds, the sector’s Series A valuations have remained somewhat sustainable, seeing a slight decline of 2% from 2022 highs.

However, seed-stage valuations saw a steeper year-over-year decline of 20 percent.

Additionally, the fintech sector in the MENA region has seen a notable increase in merger and acquisition activities, with a 29% year-on-year increase in exits recorded in September 2023. The UAE has emerged as a player key, leader in the region in these areas. activities.

Egyptian sports market WayUp Sports raises funding round

Egypt-based sports marketplace WayUp Sports has raised seed funding for an undisclosed amount, led by Beltone Venture Capital and Index Sports Fund.

Launched in 2021, WayUp has more than 70 local and international brands on its platform.

The company aims to use the capital to accelerate the launch of its private label, fuel regional expansion and improve user experience.

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