Ibtikar Fund, a Palestinian early stage venture capital firm has announced it has received a $2.5 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) and Reach Holding.
Ibtikar (which means ‘innovation’ in Arabic) is a disruptive fund that is looking to invest in innovative Palestinian companies. The fund was launched a little over a year ago and now counts 14 startups in it’s portfolio.
The fund invests at the seed level through to local accelerators and continuing into the post-acceleration phase, potentially including series A investments as well. With this strategy they are seeking to close the funding gap between acceleration and late stage investors in Palestine.
With the closing of this investment round the fund has increased its total capital to $10.45 million, which it’s looking to put to use over the next three years.
"Our investment in Ibtikar is well aligned with our creating markets campaign in the entrepreneurship space, which we started few years ago," said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa. "The lack of funding for start-ups in MENA in general, and the Palestinian Territories in particular, is a major challenge. This investment will help Ibtikar continue its very impressive journey in financing and supporting startups that are in need of capital."
The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group that is focused on the private sector in emerging markets, whereas the DGGF is financing targeted SMEs in what it’s calling a ‘fund to fund’ investment initiative aimed at entrepreneurs who have outgrown micro-finance but do not yet have access to conventional capital markets.
For the Reach Holding Company this new investment in Ibtikar is closer to home. The private shareholding company was established by Malik Melhem a Palestinian business man who is looking to contribute to the development of his home country.
Feature Image via Ibtikar