The startup scene is still nascent in the Arab world’s most populous country. Total funding for the 20 startups featured on our debut list have raised a total of $24.2 million. By comparison, the top 20 U.A.E. startups on last year’s FORBES MIDDLE EAST’s ranking garnered $41.6 million.
The most active investors are 500 Startups, an American early stage venture fund and accelerator—perhaps not surprisingly, and Cairo Angels. Of the 20 startups, nine raised more than $1 million. There are 38 angel investors, compared to 17 venture capitalists, and most of the VCs are not Egyptian.
We sent out questionnaires to 350 startups gathered from different sources, such as TIEC, A15, Cairo Angels, Flat6Labs, and Sawari Ventures, as well as entrepreneurs who recommended peers.
We evaluated them based on their potential global and regional appeal, the quality of their investors (professional VCs), and the amount of funding. We selected the top 20, with $140,000 being the cut-off.
Several startups asked us not to publicly disclose their funding or investors.