500 Startups closes $15M account to behind founders in the Middle East and North Africa


Fresh off shutting a $10 million account progressing this year for Latin American startups, 500 Startups has pulled together capital for a new $15 million account that will exclusively aim startups in a Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Despite just closing today, 500 Startups has already done 39 investments in MENA out of other funds, so a organisation does have knowledge deploying collateral in a region. The Oman Investment Fund and the Qatar Science and Technology Park are portion as anchors for a new fund. The Oman Investment Fund has formerly invested collateral into 500 Startups’ categorical fund, though the Qatar Science and Technology Park is new.

Hasan Haider, a handling executive of 500’s MENA fund

Hasan Haider, a handling executive of a MENA fund, has a large charge forward of him. The Middle East alone encompasses a land area scarcely a distance of a United States and as such a purpose will engage a lot of traveling. Haider is formed in Bahrain though will be creation unchanging trips to cities that are hotbeds for business activity like Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai, and Doha, where 500’s Series A module is located.

Initially Haider will be assimilated by Sharif ElBadawi, a former Googler and a current personality of TechWadi, an association of tech-focused Arabs in Silicon Valley. To enlarge efforts and maximize a strech of a tiny team, a dual are advising the Wadi Accelerator in Oman and aiding them with village events.

500 is job this a initial shutting that means it is probable that a distance of a account could boost in a destiny — a targeting $25 million. Ideally this would meant augmenting a distance of a group to between 7 and 9 people to support a fund’s efforts. Rather than wait it out, 500 has motionless to get on a belligerent earlier rather than after to take advantage of a flourishing exit activity in MENA.

“The Amazon acquisition of souq was unequivocally a watershed impulse for a region,” Dave McClure, Founding Partner of 500 Startups, explained to me in an interview.

The import is that there is critical informal seductiveness in try collateral investment. Softbank grabbed headlines final year when news pennyless that a association was formulation a $100 billion investment account that would have estimable subsidy from Middle Eastern investors. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s $3.5 billion investment in Uber also comes to mind as demonstrative of a trend.

“Right now government upheld programs are incentivizing people to set adult VC funds,” notes Haider. “MA interest is entrance from Europe and a distant east.”

Government sponsored programs heavily incentivize country specific investments, but Haider told me in an talk that he thinks a wrong to demeanour during a segment as siloed off countries. Instead, a thought is to grow a segment as an ecosystem, operative to boost a series of acquisitions and eventually convincing some-more people to take a risk of starting a startup.

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Posted by on May 9 2017. Filed under Startups. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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