Since 2018, Jordan has remarkably transformed the digital landscape of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), joining the high ranks of the Middle East’s investments.
From the beginning of 2018 to 2022, the Hashemite Kingdom has emerged as a magnet for start-up investments, working diligently to position itself as a leader in regional technology. As per Magnitt’s insights, Jordan’s strategic positioning places it fourth in the MENA region for funding and market transactions, a testament to its burgeoning influence.
Up until today, the top three markets for venture capital (VC) are the UAE with an estimated value (EST) of $4.48 billion, Saudi Arabia EST of $1.94 billion, and Egypt EST of $1.46 billion. Jordan’s fourth-place ranking, with 220 deals, reflects a significant market shift, with investor focus increasingly turning towards its dynamic ecosystem.
The significant growth in the markets and investment trends taking place are shaping the Middle East to be in a better position, allowing investment opportunities to shape the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Jordan’s market growth aligns with broader regional trends. With a 13% compound annual growth rate in funding, the Kingdom echoes the investment patterns seen in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Start-ups like ReserveOut and Liwwa are carving out a niche in e-commerce and retail, diversifying Jordan’s tech portfolio beyond the financial technology sector prevalent in other MENA markets.
“Jordan produced some of the earliest and most successful internet and tech start-ups in the Arab region, starting with Maktoob in the late 1990s. It was the first start-up to scale across the region and had a remarkably successful exit. Its sister company, Souq.com, became Amazon.com,” Fadi Ghandour, Executive Chair at Wamda Capital told Inside Telecom.
“This tradition continues due to Jordan’s large tech talent pool, focusing on building software and gaming companies that can scale across the region. With that history and talent base comes venture funding, as evident in the Magnitt report,” Mr. Ghandour added.
This highlights how the Hashemite Kingdom has maintained a thriving ecosystem for e-commerce, bolstered by the perseverance of the Jordanians in enriching their tech reservoir.
Funding by the Numbers
Throughout the years, Jordan has had an impressive rise in investments which has put it in the position it is in today. Between 2018 and 2022, the industry received $50 million in funding, or 5% of total investments. Fintech followed with $26 million, then media and entertainment ($29 million), healthcare ($37 million), and educational technology with a total worth of $38 million.
Jordan’s investment trajectory, particularly from 2018 to 2022, underscores its strategic positioning. The e-commerce and retail sectors, capturing 17% of all transactions, lead the way. Educational technology, enterprise software, fintech, and healthcare follow, showcasing a diverse and vibrant start-up ecosystem.
In 2023, the Hashemite e Kingdom received $23 million in funding over the three months ending in September, a 40% decrease from the same period last year, as stated in the report.
Despite a momentary dip in 2021, Jordan’s start-up ecosystem exhibits robust growth, with a record $120 million raised through 53 deals. This resilience underscores the Kingdom’s longstanding commitment to technological innovation, positioning it as a leader in the MENA region’s transformed future.
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