Souq.com, a large e-commerce hub, is a poster child for the investing going on in the Middle East. The Dubai-based company last spring attracted $75 million from South African media giant, Naspers. The investment was a milestone for the region, and it gave the 1,000-employee company a reported valuation of $500 million. Tiger Global's venture-capital arm, led by Lee Fixel and Scott Shleifer, is also an investor in the rapidly growing company.
Last year, whenEgypt was in a state of emergency and under curfew, the team at Souq.com's Egypt operations kept working, the sellers kept selling, and perhaps most importantly, people kept buying.
Except for a few days of Internet outage during the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Souq operated smoothly, said Ronaldo Mouchawar, the company's CEO. Employees felt a sense of pride at keeping deliveries consistent.
"People look at the Middle East and they write it off," he said. "But people here are hungry to overcome that (the stereotype of a violence-plagued region)."
Security concerns may fuel e-commerce growth, said Ahmed Alkhatib, founder of MarkaVIP, a four-year-old Amman, Jordan-based luxury retailer similar to Gilt Groupe. "We may do better as an e-commerce company if security becomes an issue," he said. "They can shop online without going out."
Read MoreWhy Alibaba's $68 is a lucky number