2018 saw an increase in funding of Middle Eastern start-ups. Yet according to Fadi Ghandour, the Executive Chairman of Wamda Capital, 2019 will be a ‘year of exits’. He predicts that while many of the exits will be by small start-ups and SMEs, there will be some big ones too. This will naturally see investors seeing a large return on their investment, encouraging others to invest in the region.
Amazon acquired Souq, and more recently, General Atlantic invested $120 million in Property finder. Looking at this, Ghandour argues that the trend will see western funds concentrate their investment in size and scale. Commenting on e-commerce, Ghandour said that the space will see traditional retailers such as Majid Al Futtaim acquire smaller companies. He also added that the Careem-Uber merger will remain a possibility in 2019 and the strong competition between Noon and Souq will see customer service improvement in the e-commerce sector.
Read more about his point of view here.