MENA Digest: Egyptian startup OneOrder, Saudi SaaS firm Merit lead funding

MENA Digest: Egyptian startup OneOrder, Saudi SaaS firm Merit lead funding

By Dilasha Seth

  • 24 May 2024
MENA Digest: Egyptian startup OneOrder, Saudi SaaS firm Merit lead funding

Dealmaking in the Middle East and North Africa region during the week was propelled by high-value, growth-stage fundraises by tech-led startups across the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. 

While Saudi Arabian SaaS startup Merit raised pre-Series B funding, Egyptian logistics player OneOrder secured Series A funding. Besides the UAE-based proptech startups Keyper, a rent-now-pay-later platform, and Huspy, a real estate online marketplace, secured growth capital to scale their operations. Saudi Arabian proptech Birdnest also secured Series A funding. 



Saudi Arabian SaaS provider Merit raised $12 million in a pre-Series B funding round, led by Alistithmar Capital i-Cap to scale its operations and roll out new features. The startup secured $7 million more than its fundraising target, with participation from its existing investors Tech Invest Com and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund.  

Founded in 2016 by Julie Barbier-Leblan and Thrishan Padayachi, Merit assists businesses to increase customer and employee engagement via a suite of cloud-based SaaS platforms, enterprise solutions, applications, and software.  

Merit aims to utilize additional funding to develop its technology to enhance customer engagement. In 2021, Merit raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Saudi Arabia’s Impact46, along with Tech Invest Com, Arzan VC, Hambro Perks Oryx, and several regional angel investors. 



Proptech startup Keyper secured $34 million in funding in a mix of equity and Sukuk financing to scale its rent-now-pay-later (RNPL) platform. The funding includes a $4 million pre-Series A equity investment led by Middle East Venture Partners and BECO Capital.  

Existing investors Vivium Holdings, Jabbar Group, and Signature Developers as well as new investors Annex Investments, Pin Investment, and Al Qahtani Investment joined the round. 


Besides, the startup signed a term sheet for an additional $30 million in Shariah-compliant Sukuk financing from asset manager Franklin Templeton Investments, bringing its cumulative capital raised to date to over $40 million. Keyper raised $6.5 million in seed funding in October last year.  

Founded in 2022 by Omar Abu Innab and Walid Shihabi, the UAE-based Keyper started as a property investment management platform that allowed tenants to track their expenses online, and investors could get real estate portfolios and access to data-driven insights. In May last year, it launched its rent-now-pay-later product, allowing Dubai tenants to pay their rent in monthly installments with their credit cards.  

It also introduced an "Upfront Rent” feature for landlords, which enables property owners to receive the full year's rent in a single upfront payment, thereby providing instant access to cash and eliminating default risk. Keyper says it has so far onboarded 3,000 residential units worth $2 billion, processed over $10 million in annual rent payments, and deployed over $1 million in annual rent facilitation through its RNPL product. 



Egyptian tech supply chain and logistics startup OneOrder raised $16 million in a Series A round in a mix of equity and debt, led by Delivery Hero Ventures to expand into the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council region, starting with the UAE. The funding round also saw participation from Norrsken22 and existing investors, Nclude and A15.  

Founded in 2022 by Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice, OneOrder is a tech-enabled one-stop shop catering to the supply needs of restaurant and hotel chains. The digital and wholesale distributor enables online ordering and delivery of more than 700 SKUs by the F&B sectors, having partnered with local ranchers, growers, and producers. Besides, it offers comprehensive analytics and data to hotels and restaurants to manage their operations and offers access to embedded financing to boost growth.  


The company plans to expand into the GCC by the autumn of 2024. It raised a $3 million seed round in December 2022.  


Birdnest, an Egypt-based proptech startup raised pre-Series A funding of an undisclosed amount, led by Beltone Venture Capital and CI Venture Capital to geographically scale its business.   

Founded in 2020 by Mostafa El-Nahawy and Ahmed Fadda, Birdnest offers innovative furnishing services and rental management solutions to ensure maximum returns for real estate investors and value for tenants.  

It aims to utilize the funds towards scaling its operations across key regional markets, including Athens, Dubai, and Riyadh. Besides, it plans to undertake marketing initiatives to develop and operate high-value, short-term rental properties and establish Birdnest as the leading short-term rental platform in the region. 


The UAE-based proptech startup Huspy raised a fresh investment round led by Balderton Capital as it aims to build a super-app for real estate. The round also saw participation from existing investor Fifth Wall, amongst others.  

Founded in 2020 by Jad Antoun and Khalid Ashmawy, Huspy facilitates the home buying and financing process by connecting buyers with banks and mortgage brokers through its online marketplace. Its digital platform allows finding, comparing, and applying for home loans, a mortgage calculator, and a pre-approval service. 

According to Huspy, it raised funding at a higher valuation than the Series A round in 2022, when it raised $37 million. Its other backers include venture capital firms such as Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia), Founders Fund, Breyer Capital, VentureFriends, B&Y Venture Partners, COTU Ventures, and VentureSouq. 

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