MENA – Financing for tech-enabled startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and its diaspora has received a boost following the launch of a new US$60 million venture capitalist fund.

The fund will work hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs to develop and scale their business by providing capital and deep expertise in growth marketing, fundraising, global connectivity, and operations.

Having worked with 500 startps- a leading venture capitalist firm- the +VC founding team has a significant track record of completing over 200 investment transactions since 2010.

Leveraging on its team’s experience, the firm expects to invest in more than 100 startups over the next few years from its US$60 million debut fund.

“We are excited to launch +VC with a differentiated investment thesis for the region. The aim of the firm is to invest in a broadly diversified portfolio of seed stage startups, targeting 120 investments over the next three years.”

Hasan Haider – +VC cofounder.

Haider said that his team’s five-year legacy of investing in MENA and global startups has helped build deep personal networks for exceptional deal flow.

“Our thesis is designed to empower startups in the rapidly growing MENA economy. We intend to leverage our expertise and knowledge to positively impact the growth of the region’s burgeoning startup ecosystem,” Haider added.

The Mena startup scene, rather than being crushed by the pandemic, has bounced back with renewed vigour

Mr. Hader says that its initial investments in startups will have an average cheque size of $200,000, with half of [the] capital reserved for follow-on rounds of up to $2m for the most successful portfolio companies.

This allocation, according to Hader may increase to 70 per cent depending on the final fund size,” he added.

+VC entry into the MENA is happening at a time when the region is emerging as a key start-up ecosystem.

The region has seen several major exits, including the $3 billion acquisition of Careem by Uber last year and of local e-commerce site Souq by the US giant Amazon for $580m in 2017.

Despite the pandemic-related challenges, Mena start-ups secured $659m in funding in the first half of the year, up 35 per cent compared to the last year, according to data platform Magnitt.

The UAE received the largest share of funds raised, which was attributed to several later-stage investment deals, while Egypt ranked first in terms of the number of deals, accounting for 25 per cent of the region’s total.

The thriving start-up ecosystem has caused significant spike in the number of venture capital companies, and international funds seeking to invest in some of Egypt’s most viable start-ups.

+VC is the latest entrant in the Egyptian startup Scene, becoming part of a growing umber of venture capital (VC) firms, accelerators and incubators in Egypt which includes prominent names like FastLabs, EdVentures, Sawiri and Endure Capital among others.

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