Start-ups in Saudi Arabia topped the fundraising activity in March 2024, with total investments reaching $198 million, the highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The funds were raised in 25 transactions, the bulk of which ($130 million) went to the pre-IPO round of Saudi Arabia-based SaaS provider Salla, according to a report from Wamda and Digital Digest.

The UAE logged the second-highest value of investments, with $39 million raised by 12 start-ups. Egypt came in third place, with eight start-ups securing $7 million.

Across the region, start-ups secured a total of $254 million during the month, bringing the total for the first three months of the year to $429 million.

Software as a service (SaaS) providers dominated the funding, bagging a total of $130.6 million in nine deals, outpacing fintech, which secured $40 million over 12 transactions. E-commerce start-ups raised $18 million.

In terms of number of investments, Saudi Arabia also topped the table with 25 deals, followed by UAE with 12 and Egypt with 8 deals.

The majority of the funding across the MENA region (89.7%) went to start-ups founded by males, while 10% went to businesses of mixed gender founders.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria )