Turkey and MENA startup funding in 2016

In a post from October, I shared how the Turkish startup ecosystem is on track to receive north of $65M in funding in 2016. According to startups.watch, the actual figure turned out to be around $63M. This doesn’t include a very large round which has yet to be announced. If included, the figure rises to around $80M.

In comparison, the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) leading tech news website Wamda recently shared that startups from the MENA region received over $815M of funding in 2016. This is over 10X the funding received by Turkish startups.

However, MENA consists of 20 countries rather than 1 so a direct comparison isn’t correct.

A better way to look at the difference is in terms of population. 424 million people live in MENA, in contrast to 79 million in Turkey. This factor of 5.4X is much smaller than the greater than 10X difference in the funding received by MENA startups relative to those in Turkey.

Another way to compare MENA and Turkey’s startup funding levels is as a share of each region’s GDP. $80M is ~0.011% of Turkey’s $718B GDP while $815M is 0.026% of MENA’s $3.141T GDP.

In other words, no matter how you look at it, MENA startup funding in 2016 was well ahead of that of Turkey.


Also published on Medium.