Dubai-based startup data platform MAGNiTT has raised close to $1 million in seed funding, the startup announced earlier this morning. The round was led by 500 Startups with Middle East Venture Partners, Kuwait-based KISP Ventures, and Saudi VCs Financial Horizon Group and iNet also joining in.
Founded in 2014 by Philip Bahoshy, MAGNiTT started as a platform to connect startups with investors and other stakeholders of the region but pivoted its model to focus on a subscription-based data platform. The platform, however, still allows startups to connect with investors.
MAGNiTT has released over 20 reports on MENA’s ecosystem since it started. The reports now are a part of MAGNiTT’s Premium subscription plan that costs about $500 a month. The platform currently hosts over 5,500 startups, 150 VCs and 12,000 users.
The startup will use the investment to further enhance its platform and eventually to take MAGNiTT beyond MENA.
“For start-up founders across the region, raising funding remains one of the biggest challenges. It is an extremely time-consuming process, and yet it is a key enabler for growth for entrepreneurs. A funding round can take anywhere between 3 months to over a year to close. By creating a data driven startup platform with a focus on access to analytics, our aim is to help accelerate that process. Data remains at the core of investment decisions and this trend will continue to dramatically impact the startup and investor ecosystem over the next few years,” said Philip Bahoshy, the founder & CEO of MAGNiTT.
Sharif El-Badawi, Partner at 500 Startups, speaking about the investment said, “At the heart of understanding an industry or building a nascent, fast evolving ecosystem, is knowing who the actors are and the activity taking place. Accurate data and objective transparency for startups, investors and enablers was almost non-existent before MAGNiTT. Now it is the defacto source for researchers and reporters within and outside the MENA region. At 500, we value data and transparency tremendously and it was clear to us that backing MAGNiTT made good business sense all around.”
Walid Mansour, Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Middle East Venture Partners, commented, “For us, as a MENA-focused venture capital firm that invests in the early and growth stages of innovative companies run by talented entrepreneurs, MAGNiTT is a strategic investment on several levels. Firstly, the platform brings much needed reliable and trustworthy information and analysis to our ecosystem. Secondly, we feel that Philip’s vision for MAGNiTT, to foster and help accelerate entrepreneurship in MENA, is aligned with our vision and will help many other start-ups successfully secure funding and in turn be part of the transformation of our region.”
The investment announcement conincides with MAGNiTT’s launch of their new website with enhances users profiles, investment tracking notifications, research and analytics tools and a startup job portal for startups and VC portfolio companies. The company is also growing its technology team by onboarding new tech experts.