Emirati businessman Mohammad Alabbar urged Arab investors to invest in what he called “e-economy” in the Arab region due to its low percentage in the GDP especially amid pursuits by Arab governments, namely Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, to adopt modern policies.
Alabbar’s statement was made on the sidelines of Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) launching of a venture capital fund with a target size of $250 million. The fund will invest in innovative early-stage and growth-stage tech companies in the MENA region and Turkey.
The launch of the new fund follows the announcement in May 2017 that Alabbar and MEVP have entered a strategic partnership to create one of the leading venture capital investment platforms in the region.
Alabbar said: “A new generation of tech-savvy young digital entrepreneurs is driving the growth of this region’s digital ecosystem. Their innovative ideas can bring transformational changes to the local economies. MEVP’s new fund will support emerging local tech companies with dedicated capital, specialized expertise, and operational support enabling them to reach their next level of growth.”
According to reports, venture capital investments in MENA was less than 0.03 percent of the GDP in 2016, significantly lower than 0.20 percent in India and 0.40 percent in the US. This lack in venture capital funding is in stark contrast to the tech savvy of consumers and businesses in MENA and Turkey and their growing demand for advanced and competitive technology products and services.
The target fund size of $250 million makes it one of the few independent regional venture capital funds capable of committing large investments to meet the growth requirements of tech companies in MENA and Turkey. The fund will offer long-term investors looking for tech exposure in the MENA and Turkey a diversified investment drive led by MEVP’s strong management team that has a proven track record.
Walid Hanna, MEVP Founder and CEO, said: “We have a current investment portfolio in over 40 ventures, which has created more than 1,100 quality tech jobs for the region’s youth.”