Egyptian M&A startup PIE acquires regional acquisitions platform Exits.

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Exits, a regional online marketplace for buying and selling websites, apps, and traditional businesses, has been acquired by PIE, a Mergers and Acquisitions advisory firm.

PIE acquired Exits to help grow the microacquire market in the region by making it simpler for smaller companies to gain more visibility from investors and eventually list on an M&A marketplace, as well as for buyers to seek for potential acquisitions online.

PIE was founded by Mohamed Aboulnaga with the goal of creating a strong boutique that would serve as a flagship for investment banking services for startups and SMEs in this market area. It also offers the option of reviewing key metrics to find the right fit.

“PIE can act as both sell and buy-side advisor or as an independent advisor that steps into a deal where both ends are unable to agree on the terms of sale, or even as bringing new options for sellers or buyers to a pending deal to enhance the numbers and bring more benefits to the founders. PIE offers not only the traditional M&A advice but goes as much as preparing startups inside out to a takeover or an investment through a package of several support functions and business consultancy schemes,” Mohamed Aboulnaga, Founder of PIE, said.

Listing, or indeed buying, a company via Exits is simple enough, though as a result of the acquisition, users will also be able to request the aid of ‘PIE advisor’, who can customise  a more complex deal, or even an investment preparation exercise. The company plans to introduce more verticals to achieve its aim of becoming a fully fledged integrated investment boutique that covers the whole M&A value chain.

2021 saw a record number of exits in Egypt, with the number rising to 7 from 2020’s 3. Highlight deals included logistics and fulfilment startup FWRUN’s acquisition by Saudi counterpart Diggipacks automotive marketplace Sa3ar’s acquisition by local competitor ContactCars. The hot streak seems to have continued into 2022 with four exits recorded already, including proptech Milango’s acquisition of its local counterpart Circle and Cairo-based healthtech DilenyTech’s acquisition by US firm Astute Imaging LL

For Aboulnaga and co, however, there’s still much work to be done in terms of creating an ecosystem that can foster more acquisitions and exits. “The number of successful attempts that MENA startups managed to exit are less than 10% of those who raised money,” Aboulanaga decries. “We aim to raise this figure to at least triple in the next 5 years so as to enhance the ecosystem for both investors and founders, and lead this entire market to maturity with more pathways to cash liquidity and proper exits.”