Insider PTE, the Turkey-based artificial intelligence (AI) company, received $121 million in funding, bringing its valuation to $1.2 billion, as global funds direct more cash into the country’s tech startups, the company announced Thursday (March 3).
The latest cash investment came through a Series D round from the Qatar Investment Authority. The nation’s $300 billion fund was launched to strengthen the region’s economy by diversifying into new asset classes.
In addition, Sequoia Capital Operations LLC, Riverwood Capital LLC, Wamda Capital, Endeavor Catalyst Inc., Esas Holding AS and 212 Capital Partners contributed to the round.
The startup is Turkey’s fifth tech unicorn, the phrase used to describe startups with more than $1 billion in value.
Hande Cilingir, CEO and co-founder of Insider, said the new funding will be used to expand into the United States following growth in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Last year, Turkey set a record in terms of startup deal and investment value.
In 2021, startups in the Western Asia and Southeastern Europe country raised more than $1.5 billion in angel and venture capital funds, representing a 948% year-over-year increase in total investments according to startup research platform Startups.watch.
The data also revealed that the number of deals clinched during the period was up by 47%, further highlighting the rapid acceleration in funding growth the country experienced in a space of a year.
Overall, 294 funding rounds were completed in the country in 2021. That places Turkey in second place in the Middle East and North Africa region and among the Top 10 countries in Europe with the most capital raised from investors.