Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners form strategic partnership and launch South-South Venture Alliance (SSVA) to support entrepreneurship in emerging markets
Angel Ventures, the Latin American Venture Capital firm based in Mexico and focused on Pacific Alliance markets, and Iliad Partners, the UAE-based Venture Capital firm focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announced today their strategic partnership and the founding of the South-South Venture Alliance (SSVA), a new global VC alliance focused on early stage investments in emerging markets and supporting entrepreneurship in these geographies.
“We have identified significant similarities and comparable ecosystems between our regions, and among other emerging markets. Entrepreneurs and VCs in our parts of the world are trying to solve the same type of problems and founders face the same type of challenges, while we VCs are targeting similar sectors and business models in our respective geographies”, stated Hernan Fernandez Lamadrid, Founder and Managing Partner of Angel Ventures.
Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners will work closely on cross-regional investments. The two firms will pool their knowledge bases, resources and networks to (i) make co-investments across geographies in jointly identified target verticals, (ii) mutually support their portfolio companies in these verticals, and (iii) facilitate business development, global expansion and exit opportunities. The aim is to build regional champions in target verticals that evolve into global leaders in emerging markets. The partnership will initially focus on common verticals including Fintech and Insurtech, Mobility and Transport, Logistics, Proptech and Real Estate Tech, Travel and Hospitality, E-Commerce Enablement and enabling ICT among others.
As part of the alliance, Iliad Partners Founder and Managing Partner Christos Mastoras will join Angel Ventures as a Venture Partner, while Angel Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Hernan Fernandez Lamadrid has joined the Global Advisory Council of Iliad Partners, and the two teams will work together closely on strategic and operational levels as “one team”.
LATAM and MENA collectively have a population of over 1 billion people and are two regions with significant opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, digitization and disruption of traditional industries. Still at the beginning of their respective Venture Capital cycles, both regions have significant potential for growth and the talent to build leading global startups.
Shari Loessberg, MIT Sloan School of Management faculty member, who teaches Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship, and also serves on the Investment Committee of both VCs said, “The synergies between these two emerging markets are clear yet underserved. I am happy to see MIT Sloan MBAs innovating and leading in this space”. Both Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners were founded and are led by MIT Sloan School of Management MBAs.
Within this context, Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners are launching the South-South Venture Alliance (SSVA), a global VC alliance aiming to source, execute and manage VC investments in the most promising emerging market startups. As the founding members, Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners will expand SSVA to include other comparable emerging markets beyond LATAM and MENA, such as South East Asia, as a global alliance of emerging market VCs.
For startups, the partnership between Angel Ventures and Iliad Partners, provides an opportunity to entrepreneurs to tap into a global knowledge base and highly experienced teams to get hands-on support for expansion across emerging markets. For LP investors, it offers unique access to a broad investment platform and diversified portfolio of global investment opportunities spanning two very high-growth regions, supported by deep expertise, and a combined track record of global investments and operating experience.
Christos Mastoras said “We have a lot to learn from comparable markets and our colleagues at Angel Ventures, but also lots to share from our experience in MENA. It has been 10 years since Maktoob was acquired by Yahoo in the first major exit in MENA, and since then major players like Uber and Amazon have entered the region. The MENA tech startup and VC spaces are now taking off, and our partnership with Angel Ventures and the SSVA will enable us to invest in local winners at global scale and build the emerging market success stories of tomorrow”.
Camilo Kejner, Angel Ventures Managing Partner, said “Having spent significant amounts of time on the ground in MENA, and having analyzed cross-regional trends with LATAM and Asia, we can confidently say that we believe in the robust potential of the MENA region and the synergies between our two regions and across “South-South” emerging markets. Look forward to our work together as part of this partnership and the SSVA, and our journey together.”