Figures released by ArabNet, a hub for Arab digital professionals and entrepreneurs, show that investment funds based in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region made 37 investments in technology startups in Lebanon for a total amount of $56m in 2016. In comparison, Lebanon attracted 31 investments for an aggregate amount of $30m in 2015, 21 deals totaling $26m in 2014, and 11 investments for a total of $7m in 2013.
In addition, Lebanon attracted 17% of the number of investments in technology startups in the MENA region in 2016, up from 15.4% in 2015, 10.1% in 2014 and 7.8% in 2013. Also, the amount of investments in Lebanon accounted for 6.1% of total investments in the region in 2016, compared to 12.1% of total deals in 2015, 6.9% of total investments in 2014 and 3.7% of the total in 2013.
Lebanon attracted the second-highest number of investments in technology startups among 14 MENA countries in 2016, the third highest in 2015, and the fifth largest in each of 2013 and 2014.
Also, Lebanon attracted the second-highest value of investments in the MENA region in each of 2016 and 2015, the fourth largest in 2014 and the fifth highest in 2013. ArabNet indicated that it surveyed six venture capital (VC) funds, five corporates, two seed funds, two growth-stage VC funds, two networks of angel investors and one accelerator fund in Lebanon.
In parallel, MENA-based funds made 100 equity-based investments for a total of $119m in technology startups in Lebanon between 2013 and 2016. The number of investments in Lebanese technology startups was the fourth highest among the 14 MENA countries, behind the UAE (234 deals), Jordan (118 transactions) and Egypt (101 investments) during the covered period. Also, the amount of investments in Lebanese technology startups was the third highest in the MENA region during the 2013-16 period, behind the UAE ($1.1bn) and Egypt ($251m).
Further, the number of investments in Lebanon accounted for 13% of total investments in the 14 MENA markets between 2013 and 2016, while the value of investments in Lebanon represented 6.9% of total equity-based investments during the covered period.
ArabNet said that Banque du Liban's Intermediate Circular 331 has supported VC activity in the country. The findings are based on data collected from 75 investors and accelerators in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE.
LTW – Byblos Bank