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MENA Digest: Saudi firm CoreVision buys VeFund; MoneyHash, Hayi get funding

By Dilasha Seth

  • 01 Mar 2024
MENA Digest: Saudi firm CoreVision buys VeFund; MoneyHash, Hayi get funding
(From left) MoneyHash co-founder & CTO Mustafa Eid, CPO Elena Panchenko and co-founder & CEO Nader Abdelrazik

Saudi investment firm CoreVision led dealmaking activity in the Middle East and North Africa region during the week as it acquired AI-backed startup investment facilitator VeFund while fintech startup MoneyHash and the UAE-based social networking application Hayi raised early-stage funding.

Other startups in the region that secured funding during February include travel tech platform The Digital Hotelier, AI tech company Camb AI, proptech platform Rize, and cloud kitchen startup The Cloud. 

Meanwhile, Dubai-based early-stage venture capital firm COTU Ventures achieved a final close of its debut investment vehicle to back startups in the Middle East and North Africa region from pre-seed to seed stages. It raised $54 million in its first outing, backed by Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF), Abu Dhabi-based Lunate, sovereign investor Mubadala Capital Investment, Jordan’s Arab Bank, and Bupa Arabia. 

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MoneyHash 

Fintech platform MoneyHash, which provides access to payment and fintech services across the Middle East and Africa, secured $4.5 million in seed funding from a slew of venture capital firms in the region, including the DFDFto scale the business. The funding round was led by COTU Ventures and Sukna Ventures, with participation from RZM Investment and VentureFriends.  

Founded in 2021 by Nader Abdelrazik and Mustafa Eid, the startup is headquartered in New York City, with operations in the Middle East and Africa region.  

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MoneyHash offers a payment operating system-as-a-service to address various technological and product challenges faced by merchants. The company raised $3 million in pre-seed funding in 2022.  

It aims to use the fresh funds mainly to expand the business team and growth capabilities while maintaining technological progress. It currently has 30 team members across nine countries. 

CoreVision-VeFund 

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Saudi Arabia-based investment firm CoreVision acquired a stake in the MENA-focused startup investment facilitating platform VeFund to enhance its portfolio with AI-driven technologies.  

Founded last year by Mohamed Gaber and Ahmed Magdy, VeFund connects startups with investors by providing tools like an AI Survivability Index, valuation calculators, and extensive portfolio management solutions on its platform. VeFund currently has over 1,400 startups registered on its platform and has a database of more than 400 angel investors and investment funds spread across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.  

CoreVision has close to 50 startups in its portfolio, including AI-based home delivery management system Reboost, expense management platform Qashio, and AI-based healthcare startup Aumet. 

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Hayi 

The UAE-based Hayi raised seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Plus VC to expand its geographical footprint across the region. The funding round also saw participation from other regional angel investors.  

Hayi, founded in 2020 by Chris Darnell and Rene Morgan, is a social platform that connects residents of a neighborhood to share news and services. The startup had raised $325,000 in a pre-seed round in 2021 from Sarya Holdings and Falak Startups.  

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It aims to utilize the fresh funding to scale its operations and grow marketing activities, besides expanding its footprint across the UAE and in the Middle East region. 

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