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MENA Digest: Kema, Logidoo raise early-stage capital, Sowt buys Rising Giants Network

By Dilasha Seth

  • 16 Feb 2024
MENA Digest: Kema, Logidoo raise early-stage capital, Sowt buys Rising Giants Network
Credit: VCCircle

Startup dealmaking in the Middle East and North Africa region this week was led by a couple of early-stage funding deals and an acquisition. While the UAE-based fintech platform Kema secured pre-seed funding, Moroccan logistics solutions provider Logidoo raised seed funding.  

Jordan-based Arabic audio content production platform Sowt acquired the UAE-based podcast platform Rising Giants Network.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator Hub71 partnered with India-based debt fund Stride Ventures to back startups in Abu Dhabi. The partnership is aimed at facilitating startups to access capital and provide mentorship opportunities to scale businesses. Stride will offer alternative financial solutions and support through venture debt to complement traditional equity funding, besides mentorship programs for entrepreneurs.

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Fintech platform Kema raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding, led by Speedinvest. Founded in 2023 by ex-Mumzworld.com co-founder Michael Ghandour, Kema provides a SaaS platform that helps small and medium enterprises accelerate and automate cash flow, helping them save time and resources.

The startup aims to use the investment to launch its SaaS platform, scaling the business across the UAE, and towards talent acquisition.

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Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF), the region’s first evergreen venture capital fund-of-funds and direct investment vehicle, also participated in the round.

Established two years ago with an initial committed capital of AED 1 billion ($272 million) DFDF has so far made 12 direct investments in startups, including AI-based dubbing platform Camb AI, proptech player Holo, and wealth management firm Zest. Besides, it has made nine limited partner-style bets, which include Arbor Ventures, Shorooq Partners, Global Ventures, and Beco Capital.

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Moroccan e-commerce logistics solutions platform Logidoo secured $1.55 million in seed funding from a consortium of African venture capital firms to geographically scale operations. The investing VCs included Morocco-based Maroc Numeric Fund II and Kalys Ventures, Tunisia’s 216 Capital, Ethiopia’s Gullit VC, Nigeria’s Founders Factory Africa, and Egypt’s Sunny Side Venture Partners.

Set up in 2019 by Tamsir Ousmane Traore, Logidoo provides cross-border logistics solutions to e-commerce businesses across Africa. With presence in eight African countries, the company has aggregated over 3,000 logistics suppliers, completed more than 100,000 operations, and served over 400 clients.

Logidoo aims to use additional funding to extend logistics solutions to Senegal, Morocco, Ivory Coast, and Tunisia.

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Sowt-Rising Giants 

Amman-based Arabic audio content production platform Sowt has acquired podcast producer Rising Giants Network (RGN) for an undisclosed sum to widen its reach and product portfolio. This is Sowt’s second acquisition in two years. It acquired another UAE-based podcast Finyal Studios, focusing on fiction content, in 2022.  

Launched in 2016 by Hazem Zureiqat and Ramsey Tesdell, Sowt curates and produces podcasts on issues of political, social, and cultural nature. RGN is a story-telling company that scripts, produces, and builds audio experiences. It was founded in 2019 by Basel Anabtawi.

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