AFRICA – Former Wamda Capital managing partner Khaled Talhouni has launched Nuwa Capital, a new fund to invest in tech startups in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, as well as in East Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

The fund was launched at the Step Conference in Dubai by its managing partner, Talhouni. The fund is targeting a first closing of US$100 million.

Nuwa Capital’s team is already in talks with various startups and expects to close a few investments in the coming weeks.

Talhouni said the Dubai and Riyadh-based fund will redefine the relationship between founders and capital by providing a “progressive founder-centric approach” to investing in emerging markets.

Nuwa Capital aims to raise US$100m and is already in talks with various startups in the region.

“The ambition of the team at Nuwa Capital is to rewrite the book on how we think about Venture Capital in emerging markets.

“There exists at this moment an incredible opportunity to help build the next generation of disruptive companies that will come to define their respective industries and we at Nuwa along with our Partners are primed to lead this transformation,” said Talhouni.

He said Saudi-based conglomerate Al Faisaliah Group is joining Nuwa Capital as a strategic partner and anchor investor.

“The financial and strategic partnership between Al Faisaliah Group and the Nuwa Capital team brings together an unparalleled network across the GCC and the wider region, providing Nuwa portfolio companies unrivaled access to key markets and expertise,” he said.

Together the Nuwa team has previously invested in over 500 companies, created over US$6 billion in value and has been part of the 4 largest exits in the MENA region; Souq, Careem, Namshi, and Maktoob.

The Nuwa network comprises entrepreneurs behind some of the region’s most successful exits, with Tabby founder and ex-Namshi founder Hosam Arab, Tarjama founder Nour Al Hassan, Maktoob, Souq and Jabbar’s Hussam Khoury and Samih Toukan playing an integral role in supporting Nuwa Capital’s portfolio.

The fund will focus primarily on supporting exceptional founders and entrepreneurs operating in the direct-to-consumer (DTC), Software as a Service (SaaS), fintech and mobility and logistics segments.