Figures released by ArabNet, a digital content-focused research firm, show that investment funds in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) have led to 37 technology investment start-ups in Lebanon for a total of $ 56 million in 2016. In addition, Lebanon attracted 31 investments totaling $ 30 million in 2015, 21 offers totaling $ 26 million in 2014 and 11 investments totaling $ 7 million Dollars in 2013. Lebanon has attracted 17% of the number of investments in technology start-ups in the MENA region in 2016. This figure was 15.4% in 2015, 10.1% in 2014 and 7.8% in 2013.
Lebanon has attracted the second highest number of technology start-ups in the 14 MENA countries in 2016. It ranked third in 2015 and fifth in 2013 and 2014. In addition, Lebanon has attracted the second highest investment value in the MENA region in 2016 and 2015, while it attracted the fourth in 2014 and the fifth in 2013. ArabNet has indicated that it has examined six venture capital funds (VCs), five companies, two seed funds, two funds VCs in growth, two angel investors’ networks and an accelerating fund in Lebanon.
At the same time, funds from the MENA region invested a total of $ 119 million in technology start-ups in Lebanon between 2013 and 2016. The number of investments in Lebanese technology start-ups was the fourth highest one, among the 14 countries MENA, behind the UAE (234), Jordan (118 transactions) and Egypt (101 investments) in the covered period. In addition, the amount of investment in Lebanese technology start-ups was the third highest in the MENA region for the period 2013-2016, behind the UAE ($ 1.1 billion) and Egypt ($ 251 million) .
Lastly, 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 accounted for 6.9% of total equity investments during the period covered. ArabNet said that Lebanon’s Intermediate Circular 331, issued by the Central Bank of Lebanon, supported the VC’s business in the country. The results are based on data collected by 75 investors and accelerators in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE.