Italy’s GELLIFY, a B2B software startup focused accelerator and investor is launching a fund for the Middle East region in 2021.
The platform has already established its presence in Dubai and is keen to begin investing in regional startups through an initial €20 million ($24 million) fund.
“We are scouting startups to start investing with our own funds and mid next year we will also open a fund to attract other investors from Europe,” said Massimo Cannizzo, CEO and co-founder of GELLIFY Middle East.
GELLIFY is looking for B2B software as a service (SaaS) startups in healthcare, wellbeing, education, culture, wealth and finance, environment and sustainability, hospitality and entertainment.
“There is a fragmentation in the innovation ecosystem in the Middle East, capital is available but the ability to connect to that capital is difficult,” said Cannizzo.
GELLIFY already has an €80 million fund in Europe and is keen to bring its European portfolio of startups to the Middle East to build up the ecosystem. It is also planning to export solutions from the Middle East to the rest of the world.
“The weakest part of the bridge of all these [regional] ecosystems is exporting to the rest of the world. We import a lot, but if we don’t export our startups from the Middle East ot the rest of the world, we will never make another unicorn,” sad Cannizzo. “B2C requires a lot of consumers to grow, but in B2B when you have a nice solution it is easier to sell it globally.”