Remember how we spoke last month about the rise of super apps in the Middle East? You definitely came across Careem’s latest announcement of their very own super app. Mind you; we don’t have a crystal ball in our office (yet). Future-telling is our natural talent 🔮


And in July, we are introducing to you super comprehensive visuals accumulating data from 240 local fintech companies in the MENA. This is only a tiny entrée of our upcoming fintech report.



MENA’s fintech riches


You heard it. We are living through the biggest global crisis since 1945. It will set the tone for the years to come. And maybe even decades. Some say that the crisis may lead to a new way of economic thinking. It most probably will. And to new (or enhanced) and more flexible business models.


We @ArzanVC do stress on the fact that proper regulatory scrutiny of the sector is essential least to say. If we nurture proactive, innovative regulators, we will be able to avoid situations like Wirecard. However, if we end up having strictly reactive regulators, then we will face similar problems in the MENA. So, the Wirecard story is a good lesson for our region.


There is certainly no fintech hype in the MENA; on the opposite—there is a need for it. This month, we dug deep to present you the stellar leaders as well as untapped areasand there are quite a few.


Recently, Fintech is MENA’s most active industry by the number of deals. Below is a snapshot from our research—we will be sending you our MENA fintech report in a few days’ time, so stay patient.


The first snapshot is a geographical overview based on an analysis of 240 fintech companies and platforms from the region. The biggest fintech footprint is in the UAE (88), followed by Saudi Arabia (33) and Egypt (28). However, there is a big gap between the UAE and the rest of the countries, especially those at the tail, who need to catch up—in other words, there is a lot of space to grow. For example, we see Bahrain to improve their ranking within the next year due to their proactive regulations which will attract fintech to the kingdom.




Secondly, it’s a must to look at the general functions of MENA’s fintech. We split the functions into 4 key areas: currency & transactionsfunding & capital marketsbusiness tools & management and financial marketplace. The findings conform to the global reality: currency & transactions are at the forefront of the fintech landscape and they represent nearly half of MENA’s fintech market (!).



The last snapshot shows categories that MENA’s fintech companies may fall into. Some companies belong to two or even more areas, so please remember that certain companies may be overlapping categories. Based on the functions graph above, it is clear that payment solutions are by far the top category, followed by alternative private equity and alternative lending. There’s a potential for more growth in areas such as fintech-focused cybersecurityreal estate or niche wealthtech such as retail investments, which have, for now, only few players.


TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) 
Fintech is the most active industry of the MENA by the number of deals. We present you four visuals classifying 240 local fintech companies based on geography, function and category. Payment solutions are at the lead of MENA’s fintech, followed by alternative private equity and alternative lending. While UAE’s fintech strength is profound, other Gulf countries like Bahrain, Qatar and Oman remain largely untapped.


Family Postcard


Keep on munchin’

Probably the biggest announcement of the past month is coming from MUNCH:ON – yes, that’s a new name of LUNCH:ON. You make us proud, guys. Mabrouk!

🎮 1.5 million downloads
Tamatem announced a strategic partnership with a game developer and publisher Tilting Point. Also, its latest published game “Fashion Queen” hit 1.5M+ downloads across 17 countries in the Arab world in a period of 3 months.




💰 1 billion Saudi riyals
Sales executed by stores that rely on Zid amounted to 1 billion Saudi riyals!

14 ports
TruKKer is now operating across 14 ports in the Middle East.

Qoyod offers free accounting material and lectures for students and teachers




Latest Jobs @ArzanVC Family


  1. Senior iOS Developer at Cartlow (Dubai, UAE)
  2. Front-end Engineer at POSRocket (Jordan)
  3. Sales Astronaut at POSRocket (Kuwait)
  4. Junior Sous-chef at iKcon (UAE)



And how’s the summer going with you?