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Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Reporttable of contents01. introduction 0302. Definition of VC in MENA 0403. Important Note 0504. macro overview 0605. The VC Ecosystem 0706. vc in gcc 0807. vc in levant 1008. vc in north africa 1309. MENA Venture Capital Investment Data 1810. Legal Challenges for Mena vc 2211. Snapshot of Mena vc firms 2512. Angel/Seed & Other 2713. Social VC 2814. Incubators/Technology Parks29& Related Entities15. Directory 3116. directory- Angel/Seed & Other35Investment Firms17. directory- Social VC 3618. appendix 3719 mena private equity association 4420. Supporter profiles 45The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particularindividual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that suchinformation is or will continue to be accurate. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional adviceafter a thorough examination of the particular situation.2


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report1introductionTarek Kabrit, Riyada Enterprise DevelopmentVenture Capital (VC) is a long term enterprise and as such it has the luxury of looking past immediate political volatilityand benefitting from the long term economic trend of high growth in the MENA region, where change lies,opportunity abounds. Economic reform has been underway in the region for over ten years and has produced growthrates that put MENA in the top tier of emerging markets. Moreover, with the demographic dividend that the fastgrowing populations of MENA provide the opportunity for venture capital is increasing significantly year on year.In reality, the Venture Capital industry is just beginning to take off in our region and the number of VC deals closedin 2009 and 2010 is almost triple the number of deals closed in the 2 years prior to that. Moreover, Venture Capitalprofessionals in the region expect those figures to rise even further over the coming 18 months. Similarly on thefund raising side, we notice that Venture Capital funds raised in 2010 alone were almost equal to the total numberof funds raised in the 4 years before that. This is a strong predictor of expected future activity on the deal makingside in the Venture Capital space.It is worth noting that in MENA the growth equity segment is also developing rapidly. Firms in this space may investin a wide variety of SMEs including those in traditional industries as well undertaking investments in earlier stageventure deals.Like every nascent market there are challenges to the development of a Venture Capital industry in our region,enforceability of certain traditional VC investment terms and structures, market education and the depth of thesophisticated investor pool. However, with very strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a potential pan-Arab consumermarket of 400 million, the current underinvested nature of the Venture Capital industry clearly suggests thatthe opportunity significantly outweighs the challenges.With the rise of more and more entrepreneurs, the formation of new funds, and solid demographic and economicfundamentals, the medium to long term prospects of the industry look very bright for investors and entrepreneursalike.This report was a collaborative effort between the MENA Private Equity Association, the VC Taskforce Team, Zawya and industry professionals.Special thanks go to Ghazi Ben Othman for providing a significant portion of the report content.VC TaskforceOthersTarek Kabrit, Riyada EnterpriseDevelopmentwww.riyada.comGhazi Ben Othman, Malaz Capitalwww.malazcapital.comWalid Hanna, Middle EastVenture Partners (MEVP)www.mevp.comFeroz Sanaulla, Intel Capitalwww.intelcapital.comAli Arab, Zawyawww.zawya.comNicholas Mc Donagh, Saffarwww.saffar.comBasel Roshdy,IT Ventures/Nile Capitalwww.nile-capital.comAmer Mardam Bey, Siraj Capitalwww.sirajcapital.comTarek Asaad, Ideaveloperswww.ideavelopers.comSami Beydoun, Berytechwww.berytech.orgWilliam C. Fellows,FSVCwww.fsvc.orgAndrew Lewis, Norton Rosewww.nortonrose.comRaymond Soueid,Booz & Companywww.booz.com/meYousef Hamza, Envestorswww.envestors.aeRobin Amlôtwww.cpifinancial.aeBrad Whitfield, KPMGwww.ae-kpmg.com3


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report2Definition of VC in MENAVenture Capital in the MENA region is defined as the provision oflong-term equity investment and strategic support by financialinvestors in innovative, scaleable companies at early growth stage.Key criteria used to define VC firms andtransactions also include:»»investments must be in non-listed companies (private companies),»»investment commitment over life of deal should be around USD1 million-USD15 million,there must be a plan to exit,»»high expected returns,»»VC excludes seed/angel/direct investments, and»»VC is not confined solely to technology investments, but technology is often a core factor thatcreates the level of potential scaleability required in a VC deal.4


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report3Important NoteThe VC definition above was recently developed by the MENA VC Taskforce (April 2011). Note that the criteriaused in VC data analysis on page 4 uses separate criteria. This report also includes growth equity SME investmentfirms that invest in a wide variety of SMEs including those in traditional industries as well as earlier stage venturedeals. The funds included in the data analysis are those defined in terms of self-reporting by fund mandate or fundmanager as VC funds or SME growth capital funds. At this stage of industry development, no attempt was made todetermine whether such self-reported funds meet the criteria above.The analysis was prepared based on data sourced from the Zawya Private Equity Monitor.KPMG member firms have not initiated any primary research in relation to this draft report and have not sought toestablish or confirm the reliability of the data provided by Zawya.The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of anyparticular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be noguarantee that such information is or will continue to be accurate. No one should act on such information withoutappropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.In analysing and determining the parameters of available data, it has been necessary to apply certain criteria, themost significant of which are as follows:»»Funds managed within the MENA region but whose focus is to invest solely outside the regionare excluded.»»Investment size represents the total investment (both the debt and equity portions).However fund size only considers equity invested, as we have no visibility on debt exposure by funds.»»The fund-raising totals are the amounts closed/committed for fund-raising funds, closed funds, investingfunds, fully vested funds and liquidated funds.»»Statistics are based on the ‘market’ approach and funds are categorised based on the intendeddestination for investments (as defined in a fund’s announced mandate) as opposed to where the firm islocated. With regard to multi-region funds, we have included these to the extent that there is a focus onthe MENA region.Fund Size: In the case of funds yet to make a first close or where no close information is available; fund size is equivalentto the target amount and is noted as such. For funds achieving at least one official close, fund size is reportedas the capital raised to date, while for funds that have made a final close, the fund size is the total capital raised.Rumoured funds are excluded.MENA: For the purpose of this report, MENA refers to the following countries in the Middle East and North Africa:Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Syria,Tunisia, UAE and YemenNorth Africa: Our VC transactions and fund data on North Africa (in particular, the Maghreb region) are limited. Thisis partly because many of the funds in this area have a mandate that covers Africa, whereas the data analysis in thisreport is limited to those funds with a focus on MENA. We aim to provide further depth of coverage on the Mahgrebin future reports.5


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report4macro overviewRaymond Soueid, Booz & CompanyThe need to provide sufficient employment for burgeoning young populations makes it clear that the countries ofthe MENA region must develop a more organic, bottom-up approach to providing jobs and driving economic growth,with a significant role for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).That will require a significant increase in entrepreneurship, and higher value and impact entrepreneurship. Thisentrepreneurship cannot be limited to the historical forms of self-employment in the region, characterized by smallshops and other relatively unsophisticated businesses. Rather, the region’s new entrepreneurs will have to developinnovative products and services with the intent to build large businesses of their own. VC firms that could supportthis wave of growth may look to a number of regional economic growth drivers, including population growth, naturalresource availability, and overhaul of major infrastructure.There will be several sectors where strong entrepreneurial input will be necessary. Start-up companies that can, forexample, quickly develop human capital solutions for larger companies will have significant market opportunities.Other sectors that will make good use of Start-ups include tourism, mining and maritime, healthcare, and renewableenergy. While the technology sector is relatively underbuilt, the region’s focus on information technology investmentis opening up many new opportunities for specialty firms – especially firms that can help create regionalanalogues to some of the IT VC-backed success stories in Europe and North America.Another area of opportunity is the ‘missing middle’— those businesses with an enterprise value between USD500,000and USD8 million. Even where entrepreneurs are able to secure seed and early funding from friends, families and angelinvestors, there remains a gap between this stage and that where private equity or commercial banks are willingto take a stake. This financing gap is especially acute in those sectors which have not traditionally enjoyed investorsupport in some parts of the Middle East: sectors such as education, technology, tourism, and hospitality.For those venture capitalists that enter the region and develop a strong enough network to develop potential deals,the opportunities will not only be manifold, they will come without the competition that greets their counterpartsin other regions of the world.Although the region represents a significant opportunity for VC firms, there are still issues to be addressed. Fundmanagers recognize that their chief impediment in the region is simply a lack of deal flow. Not enough actionableideas are available for review and funding, and those ideas are not always backed by management teams with strongcapabilities. Entrepreneurs need strong support at every stage of the start-up process, requiring a great deal of timeand effort from VC firms.This absence is due partly to the lack the components that mark entrepreneurial activity elsewhere: a culturalwillingness to fail, a wide network of potential mentors and supporters, a legal and regulatory system that makes itpossible to start and run businesses effectively, and a mature technology industry.Even if deal flow picks up, the region still needs to address some structural flaws. In certain markets, for example,bankruptcy laws and procedures do not make possible the orderly dissolution of assets. This creates significant uncertaintyin a market where failure is common. Laws regarding contracts, corporate structures, corporategovernance, legal ownership and post-IPO lock-ups and exits further complicate the future of VC activity in the region.Yet these challenges are more than offset by the potential that the region offers to VC firms able to getinvolved and guide the entrepreneurs they are hoping to fund. If the deals begin to percolate in enough volume, theregion will become one of the globe’s great new VC territories.6


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report5the vc ecosystemVC firms, incubators, and other entities in the VC Ecosystem(Map shows head office locations only - many of the entities below cover a broader or country scope. Map is also forillustrative purposes and does not include all the stakeholders in the regional VC ecosystem)OnlineWamdawww.wamda.comBusiness Plan CompetitionsMIT Arab Business Plan Competitionwww.fsvc.orgArab Crunchwww.arabcrunch.comArabia 500 Competitionwww.nortonrose.comStartUpArabiawww.startuparabia.comMashro3ak Hakeeka (Arabic Only)www.booz.com/meEgypreneurwww.intelcapital.comMedVentureswww.envestors.ae7


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report6VC in GCCGhazi Ben Othman, Malaz CapitalOverviewVC and entrepreneurship activity in the GCC is dominated by two countries:»»Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the region, and»»the UAE, the most dynamic economy in the region.However, overall, the level of entrepreneurship activity in the GCC remains below par when compared to similarlysized regions in emerging markets.Entrepreneurship activity in Saudi Arabia is driven by the large number of engineering graduates coming out of thetop Saudi universities. With the inception of KAUST, Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to continue to dominate the regionin terms of engineering quality and output. The UAE’s entrepreneurship activity continues to be dominated byexpatriates, whether from the Arab world, Europe or Asia.The business environment in the UAE is very favourable to attracting entrepreneurial expatriates.However, the concept and the benefits of venture capital are still largely ignored by all institutional and governmentalinvestors and sponsors in the GCC. The ability to make reasonable financial returns in traditional sectors such asinfrastructure and real estate, combined with a general lack of understanding of the VC asset class, means that VCfirms and funds are still scarce in the GCC, especially when compared to other more traditional forms of financing.Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)Entrepreneurship: Over the last two years, Saudi Arabian authorities have been investing heavily in improving andexpanding their educational capabilities across the whole spectrum from kindergarten to universities. The countryhas also been establishing all-encompassing technology parks in the main regions of the country – Jeddah, Riyadhand Dhahran. These parks are referred to as ‘Techno Valleys’. Their purpose is to offer entrepreneurs integratedfacilities that can help them easily establish their companies. In addition to the Techno Valleys, Saudi Arabia is inthe process of establishing industry specific clusters that are intended to integrate all of the various elements of theecosystem needed for each of those industries. Finally, the country’s existing technology incubators, research facilitiesand leading universities continue to enjoy significant support from the government.All of this educational infrastructure and support should lead at some point, to significant entrepreneurship activityin Saudi Arabia. However, at the moment, the creation of new start-ups in Saudi Arabia is limited and dispersed.There are examples of successful start-ups in Saudi Arabia in the Internet, mobile and IT spaces that have achievedrevenue scale and are already profitable. Most if not all of these companies, however, have achieved their successwith no VC funding, little mentoring or support and none have benefited from the existing clusters or techno parks.8


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportWith more VC funding and support, the output of innovative start-ups in Saudi Arabia should increase significantly.The country already graduates significant numbers of engineers and has invested heavily in the infrastructure oftechnology parks. The country now needs to invest in the last critical piece of the puzzle: venture capital, to makethis happen.Venture Capital: As in most GCC countries, the concept of venture capital is foreign in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly,the very first venture capitalists in history could well be Muslim investors using the concept of Mudarabah (anIslamic finance concept, whereby an investor entrusts money to a manager who uses his skill and knowledge tocreate value, and profits are shared between the investor and manager).united arab emiratesEntrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial activity in the UAE and, in particular, in Dubai is quite extensive. The country’sworld class infrastructure and ease of doing business makes one of the preferred locations to establish new companies,especially in technology. Entrepreneurial activity in the UAE covers the full gamut of new technologies frommobile to social media to online advertising. It also covers hardware technologies but to a much lesser degree. Entrepreneursin the UAE tend to be expats from the neighbouring Arab countries who have decided to that it wouldbe easier to establish their companies in the UAE than in their home countries.However, some significant hurdles make the UAE environment relatively difficult for start-ups. Indeed, the veryhigh cost of living in the UAE is a significant impediment to the success of cash-strapped start-ups. In addition, thelack of qualified engineering talent coming from domestic UAE universities makes scaling operations for start-upsexpensive and time consuming. Most entrepreneurs tell us that, ideally, they would prefer to keep the engineeringoperations of their start-ups in their home countries, while establishing sales and marketing operations in the UAE.Long term, if this trend accelerates, then the UAE would be at risk of losing significant economic opportunities tiedto such start-ups.Venture Capital: VC firms that are based in the UAE tend to target region-wide investment opportunities and notjust those in the UAE. As such, there are few if any VC firms focused exclusively on the UAE market. Compared toother asset classes such as private equity and buy-outs, VC remains an out-of-favour asset class in the UAE. This ismost likely due to the smaller size of the funds and the enormous amount of post-investment work that needs totake place to achieve the expected financial returns. The current landscape of VC activity in the UAE is a mish-mashof older funds that have ceased to invest, new funds that have not been raised yet, and existing funds that arere-gionally focused. Until existing financial players in the UAE that have previously focused on other asset classesstart to pay attention to venture capital, the VC landscape is likely to remain weak and diffused. An example of theindustry moving in that direction is Abraaj Capital (that typically invested in large Private Equity deals) launchingRiyada Enterprise Development fund which focuses on providing growth capital to regional SMEs.rest of gccActivity in the rest of the GCC in entrepreneurship and VC remains quite limited. The combination of low numbersof local engineering graduates, low number of expat entrepreneurs and low numbers of venture investors hascreated an environment that is not friendly to new start-ups. There are isolated attempts here and there in eachcountry to kick-start both start-up activity and to provide access to VC funds. However, most efforts we have seenare either still early in their inception or not encompassing enough to help local entrepreneurs.9


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report7VC in levantWalid Hanna, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)The Levant is witnessing improving investment conditions and a growing interest in its markets. Increasingly, VC isbecoming a viable regional asset class. Jordan and Lebanon are leading the sector with their growing VC ecosystems.The public sector is also recognizing the importance of VC within the economy and is mulling its future policies andtheir likely effect on the industry.Entrepreneurship: The region is set to benefit from its wealth of ICT-specialized human capital. The younger generationis increasingly more entrepreneurial. Although some are ‘copy cats’, the ripple effect of this currently small waveof entrepreneurship will have a positive impact in the long run.Venture Capital: VC firms have an increasing number of challenges to overcome. One is to uphold the deploymentof funds in quality deals. Another is to develop successful exits and realize expected returns in nascent M&A market.Regulatory structures and the improvement of the legal framework in the region are further challenges to be addressedby this emerging industry.The VC concept is little known to start-ups as demonstrated by entrepreneurs’ low levels of preparation when theyreach out to VC firms for funding. They usually display little understanding of the commitments they are asked totake as well as unclear understanding of the value they extract from such a partnership. VCs have, therefore, a cleareducational role.While still almost a green field, VC has existed in the Levant for some time. However, it has only become active in thepast couple of years. Intel Capital and Abraaj Capital’s Riyada Enterprise Development Funds are the largest fundsactive in the region with Riyada Enterprise Development (an SME growth capital investment firm) having dedicatedfunds for Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Other companies in Jordan include: Accelerator Technology Holding, InteractiveVenture (IV) Holdings (regional funds based in Jordan); and in Lebanon: Berytech Fund, Middle East VenturePartners (MEVP).JordanAdey Salamin, Riyada Enterprise DevelopmentEntrepreneurship: Jordan is home to a number of successful start-ups that have become household names regionallyand that have become success stories shared among the youth and would-be entrepreneurs. A new culture of ‘Ican do it too’ is being born in Jordan as a result of the role models created. Major success stories include: Aramex,Maktoob, Pharmacy One, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Nuqul Group, Rubicon, Iris Guard, and many more.Armed with a couple of entrepreneurial success stories while running a country with limited resources and a highunemployment rate, the Government of Jordan was eager to promote high profile youth entrepreneurship programs.YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Association) and INJAZ (Economic Opportunities for Jordanian Youth Program)were among the first initiatives aimed at young people to get them involved in Jordan’s private sector.King Abudllah II has championed the cause of Jordanian entrepreneurs and the potential of private sector involvement.A group of progressive entrepreneurs, investors and leading Jordanian figures set up Oasis 500, a program toincubate, train future entrepreneurs and seed over 500 start-ups. Oasis 500 is currently led by Dr. Ussama Fayyad,ex-Chief Data Officer at Yahoo!, who is confident that Jordan has a tech-savvy core community keen on developingideas in cyberspace and new technology.10


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportVenture capital: The VC and growth capital investment industry in Jordan is still in the early stages of development.Within the growth capital funding category, efforts are currently led by Riyada Enterprise Development, an AbraajCapital fund focusing on entrepreneurially-run and innovative SME businesses that are scalable into new regionalmarkets and that can leverage technology to support their work. IV Holdings, a subsidiary of Accelerator TechnologyHoldings led by Emile Cubeisy, focuses on investments in the internet, mobile and interactive companies’ space.The Angel Investment space within Jordan has been more active in the past couple of years and specifically led byindividuals such as Fadi Ghandour and Maher Qaddura among others. One of many challenges facing Angel Investorsand entrepreneurs was how to find or connect with each other. These challenges recently prompted Oasis 500to launch the first organized Angel Investment Network and Event to promote its first six Jordanian start-ups to over150 local and regional Angel Investors. The event was a great success with each demonstrated start-up getting atleast a couple of serious investors interested and currently evaluating the potential to invest.Business plan competitions are being proposed and launched. These competitions are creating awareness in theinvestor community that there is a flow of entrepreneurial ideas and energy. There is a realization that a huge gapexists in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The solution is not in ideas or programs, but in a will to turn ideas intosuccesses. The seeds for kick-starting the efforts of fostering a more nurturing and practical ecosystem for entrepreneurshipin Jordan are just germinating. It’s time to become an entrepreneur!Feroz Sanaulla, Intel Capital points out that Jordan is at the forefront of content and consumer technologies in MENA“In terms of consumer orientated technology, Jordan is where the action is – especially scaleable Arabic contentgeneration and ecommerce”.Organizations that support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jordan include:»»Endeavor Jordan: Launched in 2009 to support high-impact entrepreneurship in the country, it hasalready selected 18 entrepreneurs from high-growth Jordanian start-ups including Think Arabia,Jeeran, Akhtaboot, CADER, among others.»»The Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE): A not-for-profit, non-governmental organizationwhich works towards improving national development, and aims to be the region’s cornerstone fortechnology commercialization and entrepreneurship advancement. The QRCE hosts the Google Award forthe Best Online Business in Jordan, in addition to the Queen Rania Entrepreneurship Competition.Endeavor Jordan, The Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Young Entrepreneurs Associationhave collaboratively put together the Global Entrepreneurship Week event in Jordan. The goal of GlobalEntrepreneurship Week is to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, andto encourage entrepreneurship around the globe. The organizers have focused especially on positioningJordan as a regional hub of innovation and a leader in entrepreneurial activity.»Business Development Centre (BDC):» Formed in 2005 to provide management training, functionalsupport, and coalition building opportunities to encourage the growth of SMEs and the development ofentrepreneurial capacity within Jordan.11


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report»»Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO): A Government entity established in 2003 tofacilitate enterprise modernization, including the promotion of efficiency and capacity building in targetenterprises. JEDCO’s objective is to enable Jordanian businesses to maximize the benefits of economicand trade agreements signed by the Government, confront the challenges of globalization and penetratenon-traditional markets.»»Amman Tech Tuesdays: A local platform that brings engineers, business people, experts, investors,marketers, entrepreneurs, students and regular enthusiasts from the technology community together onthe first Tuesday of every month in a casual but structured setting. The main goal behind the program isto organically fortify and interweave tech-ties in Amman to further Jordan’s position as the region’s ‘SiliconValley/Sahara’.»»iPARK:A technology Incubator aiming to provide the needed catalyst to fuel the entrepreneurial processthat is pivotal to Jordan’s economic development.Other SME and entrepreneurship support initiatives in Jordan include: the Industrial Scientific Research and DevelopmentFund (ISRDF), King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), MeydanValue@Speed Accelerator, Agro-Industries Business Incubator (Jordan innovation Center), the National Consortium for Technology and BusinessIncubation (NACTBI) and Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC).12


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report8vc in north africaEgyptTarek Asaad, Ideavelopers, with input from Ghazi Ben Othman, Malaz CapitalEntrepreneurship: Egypt is the Middle East’s most populous country and a traditional centre of education and contentcreation in the region. Egyptian Universities graduate over 14,000 engineers per year out of a total of 330,000graduates. This large pool of young educated talent is the main driving force behind Egypt’s healthy entrepreneurialenvironment.A number of promising start-ups have been founded in Egypt in the past two years. These include ’me too‘ companiesreplicating successful models in advanced economies and local plays that are built on local technology or businessmodel innovations. In particular the internet and mobile sectors have seen the emergence of many start-ups.With 14 million and 60 million Egyptian users of internet and mobile respectively, and with quick uptake of broadbandconnectivity on both wired and mobile networks, Egyptian start-ups have the advantage of a large platform toleverage. Innovations in mobile using technologies such as location-based services have allowed many companies tooffer new services to the local market and to disrupt existing established segments.An emerging trend in Egypt has been the creation of cross-border start-ups that operate in a large established targetmarket, namely the US, as well as in Egypt. Typically, the client-facing organization is located in the target marketcountry and the Egyptian organization focuses on technology development and operations.Although most start-up companies are based in Cairo, the economic hub of the country, Alexandria has seen a fairshare of technology start-up companies. Built on the strength of the renowned Faculty of Engineering at the AlexandriaUniversity, these start-ups have not only been able to succeed in the Egyptian market but also to competeinternationally, with one creating the globally best-selling paid weather application for the iPad.On the governmental front, the creation of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) hassponsored many programs supporting the growth of companies in the sector. The MCIT has clearly changed focusin 2010 from attracting FDI to the burgeoning offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which has beenimmensely successful in Egypt and has helped the country generate over USD1 billion in 2010 focusing on entrepreneurshipand innovation.The Technology Incubation Program (TIP) was established by the MCIT to support technology start-ups by providingpremises, business services and strategic advice. Since inception, the TIP program has supported 27 companiescovering different areas of technology and business model innovations.More recently, the MCIT has established the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) which willdrive the Ministry’s efforts in this area going forward. TIEC has announced several initiatives to support technologyentrepreneurship including a partnership to establish Plug And Play, a Silicon Valley incubator, in Egypt.Venture Capital and Angel Investments: VC investment is a relatively new concept to Egypt with only a small numberof active players. Egypt’s largest and oldest venture capital firm is Ideavelopers, the VC arm of EFG-Hermes. Ideavelopersmanages an Egypt-focused USD50 million fund, sponsored by Government-owned organizations such asTelecom Egypt, Egypt Post and other banks and insurance companies13


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportAs of the end of 2010, Ideavelopers had 14 companies in its portfolio including two semiconductor companies, twoelectronic payment companies and other start-ups covering different areas of innovation and technology.Among other investors looking opportunities in Egypt, Cairo-based Sawari Ventures has announced plans toraise its first VC fund focused on the mobile sector and announced investments in two Egyptian mobile companies.Riyada Enterprise Developmentwith its dedicated Egyptian fund has also announced an investment in anEgyptian IT services company in late 2010.Angel investment has seen a strong ramp-up in activity in Egypt in the past two years. The profile of these investorsincludes:»»established successful businessmen who have created wealth from their existing businesses, mainly inthe technology sector,»»entrepreneurs who have been successful in building technology companies,»»senior managers in multinational companies,»»cross-industry investors who are interested in the technology sector, and»»Egyptian expatriates who are successful in other countries (namely the US and the UAE) and areinterested in funding opportunity back homeAs of the writing of this report, there was no established organization that connects Angel Investors either to eachother or to entrepreneurs. Angel Investment is largely based on personal contacts and investment.Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia & LibyaGhazi Ben Othman, Malaz Capital, with input from William Fellows, FSVC»»The level of innovation and technology-driven entrepreneurship is below the potential of the region.»»Despite the relative large size of the population, the deal flow and entrepreneurial activity in each countrywill remain relatively low for a few more years. As such VC firms need to take a pan-regional approach toinvesting, rather than a single country approach. This will increase the deal flow available to them and enablethem to tap into a larger pool of human capital and a larger market.»»The region needs to tap more aggressively into the entrepreneurship and venture capital communities ofits compatriots residing in Europe and North America (just like China and India benefited significantly fromthe “reverse brain drain”) to achieve its entrepreneurial potential.14


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportMoroccoEntrepreneurship: For the last few years, Morocco has been at the forefront of technology research and developmentin North Africa. The Casablanca region remains its economic hub and the centre of economic activity, generatingroughly 60 per cent of GDP, but the private sector and authorities are attempting to expand investment opportunityinto the regions. The Government, seeking to boost its technology base, recently opened a second maintechnology centre in the new Rabat Technopolis, following the Casablanca Technopark launched roughly a decadeago and the highly successful Casablanca Nearshore centre, focused on BPO off-shoring for the French-speakingmarkets. The new Rabat Technopark is anchored by Nemotek, a collaboration between a Moroccan technologycompany and a leading Silicon Valley technology company, Tessera. Nemotek develops semiconductor products andhosts its own wafer fabrication facility. The Government and private sector are also working on a series of sectorfocusedparks covering technology ranging from automotive technology around Renault’s new €1 billion productioncentre in Tangiers, to biotech and agricultural technology.At the Medventures conference in December 2010, Morocco contributed nine technology start-ups in the sectors ofIT, media, healthcare, BPO and consulting. Of the three winners at the conference, one was a Moroccan start-up inthe social media space.Similarly to Algeria and Tunisia, Morocco produces a significant number of engineers and business graduates everyyear from its many universities. While the output of start-ups and overall entrepreneurial activity in Morocco increasedin 2010 compared to 2009, the actual output continues to be well below the potential of the country andwell below the competition in Eastern Europe or Asia.The relevant authorities in Morocco understand the need to promote and support higher-value-added, innovativefirms and start-ups. Initiatives such as Maroc Innovation, the various technopoli and innovation cities are steps inthe right direction. However, the level of effort and funding dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in technologystill lags behind needs.Venture Capital: Morocco has one of the larger VC sectors in the MENA region, but like others, investment has tendedto focus on later stage, more mature firms after unsuccessful experiences in early stage investments. However,interest is returning to early stage investing. The private seed capital/VC fund, Fonds Dayam/Sherpa Entrepreneurclub was launched in 2008. In 2010, the Government launched an early stage fund to focus on funding start-ups, inassociation with the Casablanca Technopark.As in many other MENA region countries, there is a tendency in policy-making circles to look at VC as a jobs creationtool rather than an asset class that can mobilise private investors to invest in more innovative firms. Given its largepopulation and relatively sizable economy, Morocco should be striving to develop a more diversified VC ecosystemthat consists of multiple early and growth stage firms. All of the elements needed are already present in Moroccotoday.15


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportAlgeriaEntrepreneurship: Algerian technology entrepreneurship is alive and well. Unfortunately, that activity is not happeningin Algeria, but rather in France, Canada and Silicon Valley. Algerian technology entrepreneurs in those developedcountries have created hundreds of successful technology start-ups employing thousands of engineers andgenerating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues, in some of the most complex technology sectors such assolar, networking, and semiconductors.Despite certain efforts to promote and support technology entrepreneurship in Algeria such activity remains verydepressed to this day. Programs such Algerian Start-up Initiative (ASI) helped to kick-start some of that activity andto raise the awareness for the need to support entrepreneurship. However, little has come out of this so far.At the Medventures conference held in December 2010, Algeria contributed 10 start-ups in the IT, media, healthcareand industrial sectors. These start-ups deserve significant credit because they have achieved their current statusdespite the almost complete lack of institutionalized support or funding.The leading technology park in Algeria is Cyberparc Sidi Abdellah. While it is a positive step, it is far from sufficientto provide the type of support that Algerian start-ups require. Given the state of technology entrepreneurship inAlgeria being significantly behind that of the rest of North Africa or the Arab world, a significant and sustained effortis required just to catch up.Given Algeria’s great pool of human talent and its vast resource wealth, the current level of entrepreneurship is wellbelow the potential achievable by the country.Venture Capital: One of the key elements preventing Algeria from starting to achieve its entrepreneurship potentialis the complete lack of VC or similar financing for risky technology companies.Compared to its Maghreb peers such as Morocco and Tunisia, Algeria lags seriously behind in other forms of entrepreneurshipfinancing, especially those focused on young entrepreneurs. There cannot be an increase in entrepreneurshipactivity in Algeria until an enabling climate for VC investment emerges.TunisiaEntrepreneurship: In 2010, Tunisia continued to enjoy a level of technology entrepreneurship that was high comparedto the size of its population and economy. Tunisian entrepreneurship tended to mirror the technology sectorswhere the Tunisian economy has found its niche: embedded systems, industrial and chemical. In addition, Tunisianstart-ups continued to be active in the software development and Internet spaces.Indeed, at the Medventures conference held in December 2010, Tunisia contributed 10 start-ups in the followingsectors: IT, media, industrial and robotics, chemical and healthcare. Some of these start-ups had already obtainedsupport and financing from various sources inside Tunisia.16


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportTunisia had already set up various technology parks around the country, the most significant of which is Al Ghazelanorth of Tunis. Like other techno parks in North Africa, these parks tend to be more appropriate for larger foreigntechnology firms wanted to set up shop in a country for off-shoring development or manufacturing. This park howeveris not as well suited for local Tunisian start-ups, because of its relatively remote location and the relatively highcost of rent, etc.Despite the challenges, technology entrepreneurship activity in Tunisia remains healthy, especially compared tothe size of the country. In fact, given the political developments in January 2011 in Tunisia, we expect that entrepreneurshipactivity will significantly grow in the latter half of 2011 and beyond with Government and internationalsupport.Venture Capital: When it comes to funding and financing of SMEs, Tunisia has a relatively long list of options availableto entrepreneurs, including SME-focused banks. While these financing options are welcome, they are not focusedon the specific needs of innovative firms or knowledge-based start-ups. As such, while these firms providedfinancing, they did not provide any appropriate level of mentoring and support needed by entrepreneurs.All of the components of a successful and robust entrepreneurship ecosystem are present in Tunisia: human capital,financing for riskier enterprises, research activity at universities and institutions and technology parks.However, like Morocco and Algeria, Tunisia’s entrepreneurship potential is much larger than what is currently beingachieved. To begin to tap that potential, Tunisia needs to establish a true VC sector, needs to streamline its technologyparks and needs to provide even more support for research and development.libyaEntrepreneurship: We are not aware of any substantial technology or knowledge-driven entrepreneurship activityin Libya in 2010. Indeed, at the Medventures conference held in December 2010, while Morocco, Tunisia and Algeriaand even Palestine contributed 10 start-ups each, Libya did not contribute a single one.Venture Capital: Similarly, we are not aware of any substantial or institutionalized funding sources for Libyan SMEsfocused on innovation.17


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report9MENA Venture CapitalInvestment DataBrad Whittman, KPMGInvestmentsWhile the VC industry in the region is still relatively nascent, recent trends have seen a significant increase in bothdeal activity and fund raising. We note that, given the nature and size of VC investments, a significant portion areeither not publically announced or, if they are announced, the value of the investment is not. For the purposes ofour analysis, we have focussed on transaction volume as opposed to value.Number of VC Transactions since 2006Number of TransactionsSource: Zawya Private Equity MonitorThe past two years have seen a significant increase in VC-related transactions with 33 transactions compared tojust 16 in the period 2006 to 2008. This is in contrast to the private equity industry as a whole for the MENA region,which has seen a reduction in deal volume.18


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Reportsector concentration since 2006regional concentration since 2006Source: Zawya Private Equity MonitorFor the past five years, the most popular sectors for VC transactions have been the IT and software industry with 45per cent of the total transactions since 2006 (representing 22 completed transactions).Egypt and the UAE are the locations for more than half of the total transactions since 2006 (56 per cent). WhileEgypt benefits from a large and fast-growing population, the UAE is a popular destination for fund managers giventhe size and dynamic nature of the economy.19


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Reportvc fundsannual funds raisedusd mfunds raisedcumulative funds raised since 2000usd mfunds raisedSource: Zawya Private Equity Monitor20


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportAlthough raising capital continues to be a challenge for fund managers in the region, 2010 saw three funds successfullyraise USD300 million, a significant increase from prior years. While this is largely attributable to one particularfund which raised USD250 million, it shows that investors are seeing considerable value in the industry.Due to the lack of information in relation to the value of completed transactions, it is difficult to comment on theextent to which these funds have been deployed.21


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report10legal challenges for mena vcAndrew Lewis, Norton Rosethe issuesThere are significant challenges for VC firms investing in MENA ‘onshore’ companies (but most particularly GCC onshorecompanies)* to achieve many of the terms which are regarded as standard for VC investments internationally.Many of these terms clash with local law principles which typically apply in the MENA region (which are derived fromvarious sources, including customary, Shari’ah, common and civil laws).A VC investor usually acquires a minority shareholding, while seeking special rights to protect its minority positionand mitigate the inherent risks of investing at an early stage in high growth companies. If VC investors are unableto obtain and rely on these rights because they conflict directly with local law principles or, even where no directconflict exists, their effectiveness and enforceability is doubtful, then this creates a serious impediment to the developmentof a flourishing MENA region VC industry.VC investment is a risky and difficult enough business as it is, even with all of the special rights which mitigate riskand enhance upside that typically apply internationally. If these special rights cannot be obtained and relied uponfor MENA investments, then an otherwise comparable VC investment is less viable in MENA than elsewhere.International VC investors will be discouraged from allocating funds to MENA investments and MENA’s high growthcompanies will be disadvantaged in the competition for scarce VC funding.Examples of some of the issues confronted for a VC investment in a MENA onshore company are set out in thetable.typical vc term description mena local issuePreferentialequity termsReserved matters- vetorightsBoard representationand board role.The most typical preference right sought byVC investors is the right to receive their capitalback (or in some cases a multiple of that capitalamount) in priority to other shareholderson exit/liquidation (if the exit proceeds sale areinsufficient to return all of the capital investedby all shareholders). Preferential dividend rightsmay also apply, where the preference dividendsaccumulate until a distribution can be made(and are added to the exit preference if that occursfirst).A minority VC investor requires a veto right forkey board and shareholder decisions.A VC investor often seeks equal board representationas the majority shareholder(s) or for independentdirectors to hold the balance of boardpower. The board will govern the company.Most MENA local law jurisdictions donot allow for different share classesand the issuance of shares with differenteconomic rights conflicts withlocal law principles.Any veto rights personal to an individualshareholder will need to beenshrined in a separate shareholdersagreement. The practical enforceabilityof such an agreement may beuncertain in many MENA jurisdictions.It will be difficult to achieve suchrights and the required board governancethrough the articles alone,so typically the VC investor will alsorely on the shareholders agreement,the enforceability of which will beuncertain.22


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Reporttypical vc term description mena local issueTranchingConvertible loansVC investors often seek to mitigate risk bytranching their investment so that the investmentamount is released in stages (as requiredto achieve the agreed business plan and wherelater tranches are usually subject to certain definedmilestones being achieved).A VC investor may wish to provide a convertibleloan to meet immediate cash needs prior tocommitting to an equity investment (or the equityinvestment may be subject to certain milestonesbeing achieved first).In most MENA jurisdiction all shareholderswill need to sign documents(including new memoranda and articlesof association) at the time newshares are issued. Accordingly, futureshare issues cannot be automated atthe investor’s discretion and the investormust rely on the enforceabilityof covenants given by all shareholdersto sign such documents (whichenforceability may be uncertain).If the investor elects to convert andacquire additional shares, similar issuesas above will apply to the issueof those shares.Options/other rightsto issue of additionalsharesAnti-dilution protection‘Drag’ and ‘tag’ rightsForced liquidationA VC investor often seeks options and otherrights to leverage its investment at pre-determinedpricing.A VC investor commonly seeks protectionagainst shares being issued at a lower price inthe future. Typically the protection mechanismwill require additional shares to be issued to theVC investor to reduce its average price per shareto the new lower price (or a weighted averageprice).A VC investor typically requires the right to ‘tagalong’ on the same terms if any other shareholderwishes to sell their shares and to ‘drag’ othershareholders in a sale where it wants to sell (andthe purchaser requires a greater percentageshareholding than the VC investor holds).A VC investor often has a theoretical right toforce a company sale or IPO if an exit hasn’tbeen achieved after a specified period, (typicallyfive years from investment).Same issues as above.In addition to the issues describedabove which apply to any rights toadditional shares, there will be additionalissues associated with issuanceof new shares for free (or atnominal value).Enforceability of tag and drag covenantsmay be uncertain. This createsan additional impediment to theprocedural issues which may applyto any transfer of shares (where therequirement for replacement memorandumand articles of association tobe signed by all shareholders to reflectthe new ownership which typicallyapplies under MENA companylaws already seriously impedes ashareholder’s ability to sell shares ina private company).There are enforcement issues in respectof such rights in any jurisdictionbut they will only be magnifiedin most MENA jurisdictions.23


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportA potential solutionAs a consequence of the above issues (and others), many VC investments in MENA businesses are channelled throughoffshore holding vehicles, particularly in the Middle East. The Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and other taxneutral jurisdictions are generally favoured for GCC investments, (although local offshore/ free zone jurisdictionssuch as the DIFC in Dubai or QFC in Qatar might sometimes be considered depending on particular local considerations) while EU or Mauritius are often favoured for Maghreb investments. In the Maghreb, fund localisation isgenerally either in EU or Mauritius. The investment agreements are also often governed by foreign laws (particularlyin the Middle East where English law is predominant, although less prevalent in the Maghreb) and the parties oftenagree to resolve any disputes in foreign courts or by international arbitration.If a suitable offshore holding vehicle does not already exist, a restructuring of the investee group will be required(pre-investment) and local shareholdings flipped up into the offshore vehicle. The offshore vehicle will then be theeconomic owner of any local operating companies, although commonly its legal shareholding in any local operatingcompanies will be restricted by applicable MENA foreign ownership restrictions (requiring majority local ownership)and further structuring devices will be required to ensure the holding vehicle has similar economic rights as it wouldhave if the local companies were wholly-owned subsidiaries.All of this sounds complicated and not ideal, but is usually necessary to provide the VC investor with acceptableinvestment terms and legal protection. Local law issues may still impact on the effectiveness and enforceability ofthe structure to the extent key assets and enterprise value are still located locally, but at least the VC investor canexercise and enforce its rights in a more robust legal environment in relation to the vehicle which is the ultimateeconomic owner of those assets and value.Another positive factor is that the relevant structures are generally understood and accepted by the local MENAmarkets. They do not have to be invested and negotiations are generally focussed on the investment terms themselvesrather than the acceptability of the structure (as they should be).* Note that many of the issues described in this section apply to a greater extent in the GCC than other partsof MENA.Maghreb and the Levant appear to more aligned with international VC practice in terms of legal challenges.24


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report11Snapshot of MENA VC FirmsThis chart is designed to provide a brief snapshot of MENA VC Firms. Those of you who read our first report, The Veeceeprener,Guide to MENA VC, may notice that some of the firms have been re-categorized. VC in MENA is a nascentindustry and still evolving, and the VC Taskforce recently defined VC as per the definition at the front.We also exclude details of investment targets outside MENA (i.e., some firms may have a wider mandate to invest inother geographies, but for the purposes of this report, we provide details that pertain to MENA).Round B/C in the chart refers to financing after an initial seed stage. ICT = Information & Communications TechnologyTMT = Technology, Media & TelecommunicationsThis report does not attempt to screen or endorse any of the information presented below.FirmAcceleratorTechnologyHoldingsRegion(InvestmentFocus)StageInvestmentSize (USD)stakeholdingSectorMENA Early/second 0.5M-5M ICT/TMTAmundi MENA 5-15M GeneralAureos Capital North Africa Development Minority 2M-20M All sectors(consider smaller investmentsin health sectorfrom 250K)Berytech Fund Lebanon Early/Growth 0-1M Minority ICT/EducationCapital Invest(BMCE Capital)Catalyst PECDG CapitalPrivate EquityDAYAM Fund &Sherpa FinanceDubai SiliconOasis FundMorocco Late Stage VC 2-5M GeneralMENA(PrimarilyLevant/GCC)Early Stage(after seed/beforegrowth)Morocco Expansion 1-6M1-7M Minority toMajorityEnergy (renewable andoil/gas efficiency) andwater services and technologycompaniesMorocco Seed 0-650K Minority Innovation GeneralMENASeed & Early(MENA only)/Growth500k-1M Various TechnologyIntilaq MENA Seed/Growth 500k-1M Various TechnologyIdeavelopers Egypt Round B/C 1-5M Minority TMTtwofour54IbtikarIT Ventures/Nile CapitalAbu DhabiSeed/Early/growth500K-5M Various Media and entertainmentincluding online,gaming, mobile, television,animation andprintMENA All Stages 1-10M ControllingMinority/MajorityIV Holdings MENA Angel/Seed 0-2M ControllingMinorityReal Estate/Infrastructure/TMT/Healthcare/EducationOnline services anddigital media25


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportFirmRegion(InvestmentFocus)StageInvestmentSize (USD)stakeholdingIntel Capital MENA ICTSectorMalaz Capital MENA Round B/C 1-2M ControllingMinorityMarocNumeric FundMiddle EastVenture Partners(MEVP)Moroccoprimarily butnot exclusively,Lebanon, Jordanand SyriaAngel/Seed/Round B/C0-1M Minority/ControllingMinorityEarly/Growth 200K-1.5M InfluentialMinorityTMTTMT/ICTRiva Y Garcia Maghreb Late Stage VC 2-5M GeneralCatalyst PECDG CapitalPrivate EquityRiyadaEnterpriseDevelopmentMENA(PrimarilyLevant/GCC)Early Stage(after seed/beforegrowth)Morocco Expansion 1-6MGrowth/SMEMENA Growth 0.5-15M InfluentialMinorityFavor consumer technologyand retail sectors,but also considerventures in other areas,such as services, logistics,food processingand hospitalityGeneralMultiple SectorsSaffar MENA Various Various Various TMT/ICT/Education/Retail/F&B/Healthcare,Financial Services &OtherSawariVenturesMENA Early/growth 250K-3M TMT - specific interest inArabic Web Content andApplications, FinancialServices and eCommerce,Mobile Contentand Applications,Software-as-a-Service,and Converged ServicesSiraj Capital GCC Early/Growth 0-10M ControllingMinoritytwofour54 IbtikarTuninvest-AfricInvestUplineInvestmentsRising TideFundAbu DhabiSeed/Early/growthAll sectors except petrochemicals,high technologyand biomedical500K-5M Various Media and entertainmentincluding online,gaming, mobile, television,animation andprintNorth Africa All Stages 500K-5M Minority Financial SectorMorocco Angel/Seed 2-12 M GeneralMiddle East andNorth AfricaEarly/Growth 250k-2.5M various ICT, Mobile Apps, Healthcareand Green Tech26


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report12angel/seed & otherFirmJabbar InternetGroupRegion(InvestmentFocus)StageInvestmentSize (USD)stakeholdingSectorMENA Various 0.5M-5M E-commerce/OnlineRetail Jabbar invests inInternet companies, butis not a typical VC typeinvestment firm)Oasis 500 Fund Jordan Seed 0-50K Various ICT , Digital Media, andMobile ApplicationsMENA VentureInvestmentsMENA Angel / Seed 0 - 250k InfluentialMinorityN2V MENA Seed/Early/GrowthPlugandPlay-Egypt.comVenture CapitalBankMiddle East andNorth AfricaMENASector agnostic, looks atpotential investments inall sectors0-2M+ Minority Internet & mobileEarly/Growth 5k – 50k Minority ITSeed topre-IPO300K-120MMinority toMajorityChemicals, consumergoods, Engineeringprocure¬ment and construction,healthcare, IToutsourcing, real-estatedevelopment, telecomservices27


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report13social vcFirmBambooFinanceBarakaVenturesRegion(InvestmentFocus)StageInvestmentSize (USD)stakeholdingSectorMENA Expansion 1 – 10 M Minority Access to energy,housing, education,health care, sanitation,agriculture, livelihoodopportunities, etcUAE Angel & Seed 0 to 250K Various Digital & social mediaWillow Tree MENA Early/Growth 1-10 M InfluentialMinorityHealth, education, foodand nutrition, communitydevelopment,poverty alleviation andthe environment.28


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report14Incubators/Technology Parks& Related EntitiesAlgeria Start-up Initiative (ASI) Algeria Promotes the creation of technology startups betweenAlgeria and the USAAl Ghazela Tunisia Technology parkBerytech Lebanon A community of inspired and committed young businessleaders engaged in supporting young entrepreneursand promoting small businessesBusiness Incubation Association inTripoli (BIAT)Casablanca TechnoparkIncubation CenterCyberparc Sidi AbdellahLebanonMoroccoAlgeriaAims to identify, incubate, host, network, train andsupport value-added business opportunitiesHosts innovative ICT projectsDhahran Techno Valley KSA Research and technology development nucleus withcomprehensive business supportEnterprise Qatar Qatar Entity to support and develop the SME sector in QatarEnvestors UAE A commercial organization that connects entrepreneurswith investorsiPark Jordan iPark ICT Business Incubator is the main incubator inJordan, established under the HCST (Higher Councilfor Science and Technology)Jordan Innovation CentersNetworkJordanThe JIC Network aims at developing an innovationculture based on a spirit of entrepre¬neurship enablingenvironmental, international cooperation andcompetitiveness, as well as collaboration betweenthe research community and the business sectorfocusing on the development of innovation-basedproducts and services, and their marketing and commercializationiPark (see above);»»JIC University of Jordan: Agro-IndustryBusiness Incubator;»»JIC Al Hassan Industrial Estate: Technologyand Industry;»»JIC Philadelphia University: No sector focus;»»JIC Royal Scientific Society: IndustrialenterprisesKhalifa Fund UAE Small business funding and development support forEmirati NationalsKing Abdulaziz City for Science andTechnology (KACST)LBA (Lebanese Business AngelsNetwork)KSAHosts a Technology Incubators & Parks ProgramPlatform where entrepreneurs are put in contact directlywith investors (a service provided by Bader)Tahrir 2 Egypt A newly established incubator in AlexandriaNebny Foundation Egypt A platform for the launch and growth of early stagebusiness in Egypt29


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportEgypreneur Egypt An online portal/community for Egyptianentrepreneurs.Techwadi Egypt Silicon Valley-based non-profit working to promoteentrepreneurship and foster economic developmentin the MENA region. TechWadi focuses on buildingbridges between the United States and the MENAregion through high-impact mentorship, entrepreneurshipin education, and exchange programs toSilicon Valley.30


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report15directoryMENA Private Equity Association Member FirmsMalaz CapitalMalaz Capital focuses on managing venture capital funds that invest intechnology in the MENA region. The Malaz VC fund is a growth-stagefund focused on ICT sector and targeting private companies in the MENAregion or international companies aiming to expand in the MENA region»»Phone: +966 1 460 1644»»E-mail: info@malazcapital.com»»Location: Riyadh-Saudi ArabiaCedar Bridge PartnersCedar Bridge invests in solid and promising MENA companies andmanagement teams, which it supports financially and operationally toachieve exceptional growth.Cedar Bridge prides itself to be an innovative and independent strategicthinker with proprietary deals crafted and originated by our investmentteam using their deep sector expertise and vast global networks. Wecombine a conservative financial approach with practical local operationalexpertise.Cedar Bridge invests mainly in the core economies of the Middle East-- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE – and focuses on the sectors where ithas extensive investment and operational experience, mainly, education,healthcare, retail, and transportation.»»E-mail: info@cedar-bridge.com»»Location: Cairo-Egypt, Dubai - UAE»»Website: www.cedar-bridge.comRiyada Enterprise Development (RED)Riyada Enterprise Development (RED) is the small and medium enterprise(SME) investment platform of the Abraaj Group. It is a US$500million initiative focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)region, with a focus on providing growth capital for influential minorityand, in some cases, majority stakes in SMEs. The target investment sizeranges from US$ 500 thousand to US$ 15 million. RED is sector agnosticbut prefers entrepreneurially run and innovative businesses that arescalable into new regional markets, and that can leverage technologyto support their work. Its primary focus is on profitable SMEs in need ofcapital and institutional and strategic support to grow. The RED initiativeoperates at both a regional and country-specific level, providing economiesof scale and the ability to facilitate geographic expansion of itsportfolio companies. The RED team is a dedicated unit within the AbraajGroup that operates solely on the SME initiative through a network oflocal offices that currently includes Dubai, Amman, Cairo, Ramallah andBeirut, with additional local offices being established in target countriesthroughout the region.»»Phone: Dubai +971 4 3191500, Amman +962 6 5347254,Beirut +961 1 964570, Cairo +202 2 4619930, Ramallah +970 22416000»»Email: dubai@riyada.com, amman@riyada.com, beirut@riyada.com,cairo@riyada.com, ramallah@riyada.com»»Location: Dubai -UAE, Amman - Jordan, Cairo - Egypt, Beirut -Lebanon, Ramallah-Palestine»»Website: www.riyada.com31


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportSaffarSaffar is a MENA, regional financial services company focused on multisectordirect investments in early, growth stage and greenfield businessopportunities. Saffar assists entrepreneurs, corporate management teamsand family-owned companies to launch new businesses or to scale or expandan existing business regionally.»»Phone: +971 4 373 5777»»Email: info@saffar-capital.com»»Location: Dubai, UAE»»Website: www.saffar.comTuninvest-AfricInvestThe Tuninvest-Africinvest group is mainly targeting growth capital investmentsin SMEs that are well-established and positioned in their localmarket with the potential to scale up their activities on the regional levelto build them into “regional champions”. We also selectively considerVC type investments in industries that we understand very well andwhere we think that we can impact the business through close proximity.Otherwise, we target significant minority (without excluding majority)positions, while adopting a hands on monitoring approach centreedaround effective value addition. This, combined with our medium to longterm view (4-6 year holding period), is consistent with the real needs ofAfrican SMEs.»»Phone: +216 7 118 9800»»Email: contact@tuninvest.com, contact@africinvest.com»»Location: Tunis – Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Kenya,Cote d’Ivoire»»Website: www.tuninvest.com32


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportOther MENA VC Firms/FundsAccelerator Technology HoldingsAccelerator Technology Holdings acts through a group of companies established in Bahrain and Jordan to invest inventures in the ICT value chain in the Arab world.www.acceleratortech.comAureosAureos invests in sustainable small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets.www.aureos.comBerytechBerytech provides incubation, support and hosting opportunities to enterprises operating in the fields of Technology,Multimedia and Health. The Berytech fund invests in early growth Lebanese ICT companies. It has 19 shareholders ofwhich Cisco & Intel Capital, 5 Banks, an insurance company, USJ University, Berytech (the incubator), and LebaneseICT companies.www.berytechfund.orgCatalyst PECatalyst PE is a regional Energy and Water sector product and technology focused private equity firm that also investsin early stage companies in the energy and sector.www.catalystpe.comDAYAM FundThe DAYAM fund is backed upstream by Sherpa Finance , a non for profit entity sponsored by SAHAM Group, whichaims to assist and foster Moroccan entrepreneurs.www.sherpafinance.comDubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)DSO’s primary area of investment is high-tech, particularly mobile, Internet, data centres, Arabization/local¬ization,software/SAAS, seimiconductors, as well as areas such as clean-tech and bio-tech, provided they intersect with thehigh-tech sector. DSO offers two types of tech-focused funds for strategic purposes: an early stage fund (for MENAbased companies) and growth stage fund (MENA & non-MENA based companies).www.dsoa.aeIdeavelopersIdeavelopers is a subsidiary of EFG-Hermes Private Equity, and manages a $50 million fund focused on early stagetechnology companies.www.ideavelopers.comIntel Capitalwww.intelcapital.com33


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportMaroc Numeric FundMaroc Numeric Fund is the first venture capital fund in Morocco specialized in the information technology and communicationsector with a size of $13m USD. The main investors are CDG, BMCE Bank, AttijariWafa Bank and BCP andthe Moroccan Government. Maroc invests only in companies that have their main activity in morocco and/or theirheadquarters in morocco with a ticket size between $100K USD to $1M USD at seed/VC stage.www.mnf.maMiddle East Venture Partners (MEVP)Middle East Venture Partners has a MENA focus and invests in the early and growth stages primarily, but not exclusively,in Lebanon and the greater Levant region. The firm favors the consumer technology, consumer products, andconsumer services sectors, but also consider ventures in other areas, such as logistics, food processing, and hospitality,among others.www.mevp.comNile Capital & IT VenturesInvests in early stage, start-up, and growth companies in telecommunications, information technology, and high-techsectors in Egypt, the Arab world, and global markets. The firm in low-medium risk businesses. The company’s fundhad committed capital of $110 million and focused on Information, Communication, and Technology companies. TheFund made 45 investments in a period of five years, and has made 34 realizations to date.www.nile-capital.comwww.it-investment.comRising TideRising Tide is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund targeting innovative early-stage technology companies inMENA in ICT, mobile applications, healthcare, and green tech.www.risingtidefund.comSawari VenturesSawari Ventures focuses on investments in technology-driven companies seeking to build new markets with significantgrowth potential, in the early and growth stage. The sector focus is on TMT with specific interest in ArabicWeb Content and Applications, Financial Services and eCommerce, Mobile Content and Applications, Software-as-a-Service, and Converged Serviceswww.sawariventures.comSiraj CapitalSiraj Capital focuses on early stage growth capital investments and opportunistic Islamic finance transactions.www.sirajcapital.com34


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report16Angel/Seed & OtherInvestment FirmsJabbar Internet GroupJabbar Internet group was formed after the sale of maktoob.com, the largest Arabic portal, to Yahoo. Although Jabbaris not a typical VC firm, it invests in Internet companies in various stages focusing on the e-commerce and onlineretail sector. Jabbar has seven investments in different Inter¬net companies including Souq.com the largest Arabonline marketplace. Other portfolio companies include Cashu.com,Ikoo.com,Cobone.com, Sukar.com, Joob.com andTahadi.com.www.jabbar.comMENA Venture InvestmentsMENA Venture Investments provides angel and seed funding to entrepreneurs with ventures that have strong growthpotential.www.menaventureinvestments.comNational Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC)http://www.ntec.com.kwN2VN2V is an internet holding company with offices in Riyadh, Dubai, Amman, Cairo, & California, with a core businessof building & investing in innovative consumer web & mobile ventures.http://www.n2v.comOasis 500Oasis500 is an early stage and seed investment company. Oasis500 nurtures creative ideas in Information andCommunications Technology (ICT), mobile and digital media. Oasis 500 aims to provide capital to 500 start-ups infive years.www.oasis500.comPlugandPlayEgyptPlugandPlayEgypt is a Silicon Valley-linked company accelerator program, in partnership with Plugand PlayTechCenter,an incubator with 280+ technology start-ups in Silicon Valley. The PlugandPlayEgypt program includes facilitiesand connectivity, targeted mentorship, seed capital and support, as well as access to international networks.http://plugandplayegypt.comVenture Capital BankAn Islamic investment bank specializing in VC investment opportunities in a variety of fieldswww.vc-bank.comTwofour54 Ibitkartwofour54 Ibtikar provides financing and support for businesses and individuals targeting the Arab media and entertainmentindustry. Our primary focus is to support Arab entrepreneurs and businesses from the region that are willingto be based at twofour54, with the aim of creating a diversified Arabic content creation industry in Abu Dhabi.www.ibtikar.twofour54.com35


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report17social vcBamboo FinanceBamboo Finance advises the Luxembourg based Oasis Fund investing in innovative, commercially viable enterpriseswhich are designed to generate significant social impact and attractive financial return. As of today the fund hasreceived commitments of $51 million from private and institutional investors. The fund has an actively managedportfolio of 12 companies diversified across sectors and geographies benefitting low income communities.www.bamboofinance.comBaraka VenturesBaraka supports social ventures and sustainable businesses with a triple bottom line. The investment focus is digitalmedia and online in consumer and business internet within projects that have a high social impact. This includescreating tools and services that help companies wanting to get more engaged, government agencies looking formore participation and NGO’s looking for new ways to give and receive support.www.baraka.aeWillowTreeWillowTree is an impact investment firm that manages social impact funds. The funds invest in for-profit businessesthat are committed to generating positive, sustainable and demonstrable social and environmental impact coupledwith market-based financial returns. The sectors of interest are health, education, food and nutrition, communitydevelopment, poverty alleviation and the environment. Companies of interest are those that have a proven businessmodel to deliver impact with profit and in need of further financing to create growth and scale.www.willowimpact.com36


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report18appendixThe following data provides an overview of the general macro environment in MENA.MENA Macro-economic Data 1Raymond Soueid, Booz & CompanyGCC macro-economic investment driversKey Input forenablingEconomic ActivityAvailability ofCapitalMain Structural Factors of Investment Landscape(Selection, Non-Exhaustive)Factors driving Demand forProducts and Services from the RegionBusinessEnablingInfrastructureInstitutionalFramweorkForecastedIndex of EconomicGDP (2) Population (2) Population Enabling Infrastructure (4) Freedom (IEF)Growth (5)(3)Loans/GDP (1) $US Bn. Mn. CAGR 10-20Infras. Spending / GDP As ref., IEF US= 81GCC 50% 1,222 41.1 2.0% 29.6% 69Bahrain - 24 2 1.5% 27.2% 76Kuwait 61% 150 26.4 2.0% 37.0% 68Oman 38% 62 5.3 1.9% - 68Qatar 47% 153 2 2.6% 25.0% 69Saudi Arabia 42% 544 26.4 2.0% 31.8% 64UAE 61% 290 5.3 2.1% 24.2% 67The GCC countries, with 41 million inhabitants, represent roughly 12 per cent of the total MENA population, andhave an overall GDP of around USD1,220 billion. The GCC population is expected to grow at a CAGR of two per centin the next 10 years, increasing consumption opportunities.With an average infrastructure spend to GDP ratio of around 30 per cent, the GCC constitutes a major part of overallMENA demand for infrastructure capital, which is estimated by the OECD to reach more than USD300 billion for thenext 10 years. In Qatar, the government’s road, rail, port and airport expansion plans, which will be the focus of nearterminvestment, amount to over USD60 billion.1. All chart figures (GDP and Population) are as of 2011, unless otherwise specified.Sources used include: Central banks, Global investment house, The Arab World Competitiveness Review 2010;United Nations Population Fund; IMF; World Bank, Global Insight 2011 data; Economic Intelligence Unit, Nomura;Standard Chartered (data collected as average of 2007-08-09), Heritage Foundation “Index of EconomicFreedom” 2010 Report; Economic freedom is measured based on business, trade, fiscal, monetary investment,corruption and labor freedoms along with government size and property rights37


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportGCC Investment sectorsThe telecommunications sector in general, seems attractive in the GCC.According to the UAE ministry of health, the healthcare sector is increasingly attracting large amounts of investmentseven after the crisis in the UAEThe traditional sectors in the GCC remain attractive such as the oil equipment, services and distribution and the gas,water and multi-utilities38


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportLevant macro-economic investment driversKey Input forenablingEconomic ActivityAvailability ofCapitalMain Structural Factors of Investment Landscape(Selection, Non-Exhaustive)Factors driving Demand forProducts and Services from the RegionBusinessEnablingInfrastructureInstitutionalFramweorkForecastedIndex of EconomicGDP (2) Population (2) Population Enabling Infrastructure (4) Freedom (IEF)Growth (5)(3)Loans/GDP (1) $US Bn. Mn. CAGR 10-20Infras. Spending / GDP As ref., IEF US= 81Levant 58% 283.7 66.1 1.9% 38.8% 58Lebanon - 42 4.3 0.7% - 60Jordan 75% 30 6.6 1.5% 38.8% 66Syria 42% 66 23 1.6% - 49Iraq - 147 32.2 2.3% - -The Levant countries house around 66 million inhabitants and have an overall GDP of around USD284 billion. Whilethe Levant population is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.9 per cent over the coming 10 years, the GDP is expectedto grow at around 8.8 per cent on a nominal basis; as such the GDP per capita is expected to increase substantially.This will translate into increasing consumer spending in domestic markets.39


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportLevant Investment SectorsFixed line telecommunications, the support services and the banks seem to be attractiveThe banking sector is relatively secure and attracts deposits from the region, growing the sector substantially as wellas generating returns. This was proven on the Lebanese scene during the last crisis where Lebanese banks, due toprudent asset allocation and regulatory restrictions, maintained stability and growth, attracting more funds from theGCC and other countriesNote: Analysis excludes Iraq and Syria for lack of data40


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportNorth Africa’s macro-economic investment driversKey Input forenablingEconomic ActivityAvailability ofCapitalMain Structural Factors of Investment Landscape(Selection, Non-Exhaustive)Factors driving Demand forProducts and Services from the RegionBusinessEnablingInfrastructureInstitutionalFramweorkForecastedIndex of EconomicGDP (2) Population (2) Population Enabling Infrastructure (4) Freedom (IEF)Growth (5)(3)Loans/GDP (1) $US Bn. Mn. CAGR 10-20Infras. Spending / GDP As ref., IEF US= 81North Africa 38% 627.8 215.1 1.4% 35.7% 55Egypt 42% 185 86 1.5% 32.0% 59Tunisia 62% 48 10.5 0.8% - 59Morocco 79% 102 32 1.0% 27.3% 59Algeria 29% 177 36 1.3% 44.3% 57Libya 16% 50 6.5 1.5% - 40Sudan 1% 66 44.1 1.8% - -The North African population is expected to grow at a rate of 1.4 per cent per year over the next 10 years. Meanwhilethe GDP is expected to grow at 7.5 per centInfrastructure spending in North Africa is estimated at around 36 per cent of the nominal GDP, with Algeria recordingthe highest spend in terms of percentage of GDP and actual value.41


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportNorth Africa investment sectorsInteresting sectors to consider targeting in North Africa are Construction & Materials, Real Estate and the Food andDrugs Retailers for their high growth and relatively high profitabilityFocusing on Egypt’s construction sector just prior to the latest political reforms, it is worth noting that by 2015, sectorspending was expected to increase to USD7.3 billion and the country’s residential construction segment was expectedto increase to USD606 million. Meanwhile, the country’s non-residential construction segment was expectedto increase to USD6.7 billion in 201542


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportMacro-Economic and Demographic Environment in other regional countriesKey Input forenablingEconomic ActivityAvailability ofCapitalMain Structural Factors of Investment Landscape(Selection, Non-Exhaustive)Factors driving Demand forProducts and Services from the RegionBusinessEnablingInfrastructureInstitutionalFramweorkForecastedIndex of EconomicGDP (2) Population (2) Population Enabling Infrastructure (4) Freedom (IEF)Growth (5)(3)Loans/GDP (1) $US Bn. Mn. CAGR 10-20Infras. Spending / GDP As ref., IEF US= 81Others 43% 1183.8 181.9 1.3% 54Yemen 12.10% 37.6 24.9 2.6% 54Iran 81% 408.6 76 1.0% 43Palestine - 5.58 4.36 2.6% -There is a huge disparity in the Loan to Nominal GDP ratio within the remaining regional countries, ranging from 12per cent in Yemen to 81 per cent in Iran. The low ratio of Yemen is partially due to the fact that, until recently, 45 percent of all loans in Yemen were supplied by Islamic banks, which abide by stringent financing principles. The unusuallyhigh rate in Iran is mainly due to the government’s initiative to stimulate business and investments, aiming at aneconomic independence from a sanctioning West.Iran, with nominal 409 billion and a population of around 76 million, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.0 per cent inthe coming ten years. Palestine and Yemen have a combined GDP of only USD43 billion and have a small combinedpopulation of 29 million, expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent over the next 10 years and representing thehighest forecasted population growth of the whole Middle East.Yemen was planning to invest USD5 billion in developing its power generation and infrastructure and willing to putforward 20 per cent of the needed funding.43


Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report19MENA Private Equity AssociationThe MENA Private Equity Association is a non-profit entity committed to supporting and developing the privateequity and venture capital industry in the Middle East and North Africa.The Association aims to foster greater communication within the region’s private equity and venture capital networkand facilitate knowledge sharing in order to encourage overall economic growth, and will actively promotethe industry›s successes to local stakeholders and build trust with investors, regulators and the public regionallyand internationally.www.menapea.comRANDOM FACTTHE ASSOCIATION LOGODesigned by Nick Gibb, New Zealand’s Top ComedianLike any new enterprise, the MENA Private Equity Association started small – an idea on a blank page, and to get to the next step wehad to beg and plead for help.In the spirit of entrepreneurship, Nick Gibb, at the time a graphic designer and aspiring comedian, stepped in semi-voluntarily andhelped to create our branding and logo. With a little bit of cash in hand from the work, Nick left his day job to pursue a goal of makingit on his own. After a year of scrapping together freelance jobs, and the odd comedy gig, Nick was recently awarded New Zealand’stop comedy prize - and is now ready to take on the world.Our logo now serves as a daily reminder that it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve great things, and more importantly, tohave fun and not take too seriously all the little things that don’t go quite right along the way.44


Supporter ProfilesVenture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report20Supporter ProfilesBooz & CompanyBooz & Company is a leading global management consulting firm, helping theworld’s top businesses, governments and organizations. Our founder, Edwin Booz,defined the profession when he established the first management consulting firmin 1914.Today, with more than 3,300 people in 60 offices around the world, we bring foresightand knowledge, deep functional expertise, and a practical approach to buildingcapabilities and delivering real impact. We work closely with our clients to createand deliver essential advantage. The independent White Space report rankedBooz & Company #1 among consulting firms for “the best thought leadership” in2011.For our management magazine strategy+business visit strategy-business.com.For the Ideation Center, Booz & Company’s leading think tank in the Middle East,visit ideationcenter.com.Visit booz.com and booz.com/me to learn more about Booz & Company.The Financial ServicesVolunteer Corps (FSVC)The Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) is a not-for-profit organization, withpublic and private funding, whose mission is to help build the sound financial systemsneeded to support robust market economies in developing countries. FSVC’swork concentrates on strengthening banking systems and regulators, and buildingcapital markets from start-ups through to public bourses through technical advisorymissions staffed by senior financial sector practitioners who serve as volunteer advisors.Over the past twenty years, 8,000 experts from the international financial,legal and regulatory communities have taken part in 2,200 FSVC missions, reaching34,000 counterparts in 50 countries. From 2004 to 2011, FSVC implemented a programto promote access to finance for small businesses in the Developing MENAregion with extensive country activity in Jordan, Egypt and the Maghreb. Programsfocused on working with banks to address the unique needs of entrepreneurs. TheMaghreb program also focused on assisting in the development of an expandingventure capital sector, through work with the Moroccan Venture Capital Association(AMIC) and individual venture capital managers and related financial institutions,and the market regulator.45


Supporter ProfilesVenture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportKPMGKPMG is a global network of professional firms operating in 150countries with over 138,000 people working in member firms around theworld. KPMG in the UAE was established in 1974 and has grown to 900professional staff led by 30 Partners, across 8 offices in the country.We have established our presence among market leaders in the region,providing clients with Audit, Tax and Advisory services to identify andmanage risks and maximise opportunity.Over the years we have had the opportunity to work with leading industryplayersin the region and play a pivotal role in helping them make theirsuccess stories. At various stages of their growth, our clients look to usfor timely and independent advice in helping them in their decision making.Our professionals are selected from a talent pool of industry specialists,backed by an in depth knowledge base, local experience, client focusedapproach and above all a close network with professionals acrossour member firms the world over.The extensive range of services we provide our clients include thefollowing: Audit, Tax advisory, Transaction services, Corporate finance,Restructuring services, IT advisory, Business performance services, Internalaudit risk and compliance services, Forensic services, Business processoutsourcing, Financial risk management.Norton RoseNorton Rose Group is a leading international legal practice. We offer afull business law service from offices in Europe, the Middle East and AsiaPacific. We are strong in financial institutions; energy; infrastructure andcommodities; transport; and technology. Norton Rose Group comprisesNorton Rose LLP, Norton Rose Australia and their respective affiliates. TheGroup has more than 1800 lawyers worldwide.Norton Rose Group has one of the leading private equity practices in theMENA region. We have acted on the establishment of many of the fundswhich are active in the region as well as investments by those funds andother private equity investors.On 1 June 2011, two leading law firms — Ogilvy Renault in Canada andDeneys Reitz in South Africa with its pan-African division, Africa Legal —will join Norton Rose Group. The enlarged Group will have 2500 lawyers,and offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Québec, Toronto, Calgary, Johannesburg,Durban and Cape Town, with an associate office in Tanzania.46


s upporter pVenture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportZAWYAOver 800,000 professionals from around the world, rely on Zawya to findNorth Africa region. Backed by our team of in-house private equity andright pri¬vate equity strategy and stay ahead of regional SWF developments.Zawya’s Private Equity Monitor, which empowers PE professionals withthe most comprehensive coverage of the asset class, including unbiasedresearch, in-depth analysis, and the latest news and intelligence. It allowsyou to gain sharp insight into private equity fund performance by compar--Members can also determine performance trends, compare the values ofareas of funds being raised, closing sizes, sectors, and countries of investment.CAPITAL MSLproviding counsel to many of the world’s leading businesses and financialby the management team, Capital MSL is a member of MSLGROUP, theMiddle East, Capital MSL is widely recognised as a top five strategic comoverten years from two wholly-owned offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, aswell as through affiliates and partners in the main markets of the MiddleEast and North Africa. Clients include a wide range of private, public andgovernment-related clients across the region.47


Supporter ProfilesVenture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa ReportCPI FINANCIALThe professional face of financial media, CPI Financial is the Middle East’s leading financial publisher with a portfolioof market-leading products educating and informing readers about the latest trends and developments in bankingand finance as it affects them. Our journals offer unique insights to readers in the MENA region and around theworld.Banker Middle EastBanker Middle East, our flagship title, serves the needs of the banking andfinance industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Accuratereporting, in-depth analysis and unbiased editorial for more than a decadehave established the magazine as the most authoritative voice of thebanking industry in the region.Islamic Business & FinanceIslamic Business & Finance is the only truly global magazine reporting onthe growth and development of this exciting and dynamic industry. Islamicassets under management have passed the $1 trillion mark. With a globalMuslim population of nearly two billion people and a broad ethical appealas well, double digit year-on-year growth will continue.financeMEfinanceME is designed for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)sector throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), helping to informand advise SME financial officers, managers and owners about their financialoptions and other issues relating to developing businesses in theregion.WEALTHWEALTH guides High Net Worth Individuals in the UAE towards a safe,secure and profitable future. The magazine entertains, informs, educatesand reassures the UAE’s HNWIs about issues surrounding investment riskand portfolio management.CPI Financial 100The CPI Financial 100 defines the parameters of successful management for banks in the Middle East, offering quantitativeand qualitative analysis of banks licensed and domiciled in the Middle East. Published twice a year, it offers aclear, straight-forward ranking of banks, giving equal weighting to relative size and relative improvement in performance.CPI Financial FZ LLC • PO Box 502491.Al Shatha Tower, Office 3306 Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAETel: +971 (0) 4 391 4680 • Fax: +971 (0) 4 390 9576 • www.cpifinancial.net48


Supporter ProfilesVenture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Reportfocus 360 arabiaFocus 360 Arabia is a research based consultancy and brand developmententerprise. Headquartered in Dubai, and envisioned to serve local andmultinational businesses throughout the entire MENA region, Focus 360Arabia is prominently positioned as theinformation hub” of the MiddleEast.Our primary objective is to offer strategic partnerships with our clientsthat will enable and empower regional growth through research, brandstrategy, corporate reputation management, strategic planning, creativeexecution and project management consulting.We utilize proprietary research and corporate reputation models whichwill help to refine vision, empower employees, and improve customer loyaltythrough strategic consumer insight driven solutions.Our process includes the following menu of services:• Competitive Analysis/Market Audits• Target Market Analysis• Positioning Development and Validation• Segmentation Studies• Qualitative Studies• Feasibility analysisThrough our 360 degree approach, we will also analyze various intangibleassets, such as brand potential based upon its cultural relevance in theArabic marketplace and how it can best be differentiated in order to maximizepotential and profitability.49

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