The Most Active VCs in the Arab World in 2012

by Glen Dalakian II, November 6, 2012

This week we highlight the Arab world’s most active venture capital funds. These VC’s are targeting startups at different stages in their development to empower the overall ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa.

The list includes several defining factors including the stage of investment, focus countries, sector interest, the number of deals finalized so far this year, the number of deals expected to close before the end of 2012, average amount of investment, and the average size of the round, which includes co-investment. 

You can also find contact information below each VC to learn more. The VC’s are listed by number of finalized deals so far in 2012 as of this article's publishing date.


1) MENA Venture Investments Ltd.

Stage: Early, Growth
Country Focus: Region Agnostic
Sector: Sector Agnostic
Deals Finalized in 2012: 12 (Undisclosed)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 0
Average Ticket Size: $120,000
Average Size of Round: $600,000

To contact MENA Venture Investments, click here.


2) Wamda Capital

Stage: Early
Country Focus: MENA
Sector: Sector Agnostic, bias towards ICT
Deals Finalized in 2012: 10 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $250,000
Average Size of Round: $750,000

To contact Wamda Capital, e-mail capital@wamda.com.


3) Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Stage: Early, Growth
Country Focus: Lebanon, MENA, Global
Sector: Sector Agnostic
Deals Finalized in 2012: 9 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 2 (Undisclosed)
Average Size of Round: $600,000

To contact Middle East Venture Partners, click here.


4) Silicon Badia

Stage: Seed, Early, Growth
Country Focus: Jordan, U.S.
Sector: Tech, Online, Mobile Services
Deals Finalized in 2012: 12 (Link to Portfolio) (Updated)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed) (Updated)
Average Ticket Size: $250,000
Average Size of Round: $750,000

To contact Silicon Badia, click here.


5) DASH Ventures

Stage: Seed, Early, Growth
Country Focus: Jordan, MENA, Turkey
Sector: ICT, Energy, Environment
Deals Finalized in 2012: 6 (Undisclosed)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 2 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $170,000
Average Size of Round: $450,000

Tweet at DASH Ventures here


6) Ideavelopers

Stage: Early, Growth
Country Focus: Egypt
Sector: Tech
Deals Finalized in 2012: 6 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $1-1.5 Million
Average Size of Round: $1.5-2 Million

To contact Ideavelopers, click here


7) Sawari Ventures

Stage: Early, Growth
Country Focus: Egypt, MENA
Sector: Tech, Online, Mobile, Hardware
Deals Finalized in 2012: 6 (Undisclosed)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: Undisclosed
Average Size of Round: Undisclosed

To contact Sawari Ventures, click here.


8) Berytech Fund

Stage: Growth
Country Focus: Lebanon
Sector: ICT
Deals Finalized in 2012: 4
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 2 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $300,000
Average Size of Round: $300,000

To contact the Berytech Fund, click here.


9) Maroc Numeric Fund

Stage: Seed, Early
Country Focus: Morocco
Sector: IT
Deals Finalized in 2012: 4 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 1 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $360,000-$3.1 Million
Average Size of Round: $430,000-$3.7 Million

To contact the Maroc Numeric Fund, e-mail contact@mitccapital.ma.


10) MBC Ventures

Stage: Seed, Early
Country Focus: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco
Sector: Telecom, Media
Deals Finalized in 2012: 4 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 8 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $300,000-$500,000
Average Size of Round: $1 Million

To contact MBC Ventures, email mbcventures@mbc.net.


11) BECO Capital

Stage: Growth
Country Focus: UAE
Sector: E-Commerce
Deals Finalized in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $450,000-$750,000
Average Size of Round: $750,000-$1 Million

To contact BECO Capital, click here.


12) Vodafone Ventures Egypt

Stage: Early
Country Focus: Egypt
Sector: Telecom
Deals Finalized in 2012: 3 (Link to Portfolio)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: Undisclosed
Average Size of Round: Undisclosed

To contact Vodafone Ventures Egypt, click here.


13) Aureos Capital

Stage: Growth; Small and Medium Cap (SMC)
Country Focus: MENASA, Turkey, LatAm, Africa
Sector: Sector Agnostic
Deals Finalized in 2012: 2 (Undisclosed)
Additional Deals Expected in 2012: 3 (Undisclosed)
Average Ticket Size: $2-$10 Million

To contact Aureos Capital, click here.


Other VCs Becoming Active In MENA

We have also included some VC’s that either recently launched or are just beginning to focus their portfolios on MENA startups. They are listed alphabetically.

Earlybird Ventures is a European VC which has invested in over 70 companies since it was founded in 1997. They recently invested in Peak Games in Turkey and have an eye on MENA’s digital media and tech startups.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is looking to invest in North African and Jordanian SMEs, recently investing over US $25 million in a fund targeting Tunisian and Moroccan startups and providing finance for Jordan’s InvestBank. EBRD is also looking to provide investment to Egyptian startups in the near future.

Hummingbird Ventures, started in Belgium in 2000, focuses primarily on IT and online services, namely digital media, social media, e-commerce, cloud computing, infrastructure software, enterprise software, gaming and mobile applications. Their flagship investment in MENA is MarkaVIP. They have also invested in Turkish startup Peak Games.

Oasis500 invests seed capital through their VC, Oasis Ventures 1, for qualifying Oasis500 trainees. Oasis Ventures 1 has invested in Jamalon, Zaytouneh, Madfoo3atCom and the late Wheels Express.

Investing in primarily seed and early-stage Palestinian startups, Sadara Ventures aims to invest in sectors including gaming, software, mobile apps, and communication. They seek to invest around US $2 - 3 million in multiple stages to only two to three new startups per year. Their first portfolio company is Yamsafer, a hotel booking startup they invested in last month.

Launched earlier this year, Sinbad Ventures is targeting early-stage global web and mobile startups with average investment of US $500,000. The fund aimsl to invest in seven startups every year.

With a focus on IT, telecommunications, and digital media/entertainment, STC (Saudi Telecom Company) Ventures started in late 2011 and is based in Dubai, UAE and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They invest in companies across MENA and Turkey with a range of US $1 - $5 million.

Focusing on supporting Arabic content in media and entertainment, twofour54 invests between US $500,000 and $5 million in early and growth stage startups. They aim to expand the availability of original Arabic content out of their hub in Abu Dhabi.

Y+ Ventures invests in early-stage tech startups focusing on advertising, communications, mobile payment platforms, e-commerce, gaming, media, search, and social networking. They invest in MENA startups, mostly in the GCC and Levant with investment rounds of around US $1-$3 million.

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Glen is Features Editor at Wamda. You can follow him on Twitter @glenjd2, connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+, or reach him at glen[at]wamda[dot]com.

 
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