By Sindu Hariharan/ Entrepreneur ME - Image Credit: Arab Angel Fund
Arab Angel Fund has announced raising US$15 million for its flagship Arab Angel Fund I (AAF I) thereby closing its target of $25 million, and also being oversubscribed in the process. According to a statement, the investment was raised from 65 private family offices and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) belonging to the GCC and larger MENA regions. As a mandate, AAF invests in venture-backed early-stage technology startups in North America, and supports the entry and growth of these ventures in MENA and GCC, as part of their expansion plans.
Speaking about the specific avenues that AAF I is likely to look at going forward, General Partner and MD Omar Darwazah says that while the Fund is “sector agnostic and stage-focused,” four key themes that have emerged in the last 12 months are connected healthcare, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), fintech, and Direct-to-Consumer sectors. “On the short- to medium-term, I expect the Fund to deploy more capital along these investment themes. The team and I are encountering impressive early-stage companies in blockchain, applied artificial intelligence, robotics, healthcare and e-commerce,” he says. “We will continue to invest in companies which we feel have disruptive capabilities to their respective industries and especially those which have commercial relevance in the MENA/GCC regions.” Having said that, he says the AAF team will continue to be on the look out for emerging technologies, and deploy funds in those that have massive growth potential.
With the firm's partners and advisors comprising of former diplomats, international business executives, fund managers, and others from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and the UAE, AAF is able to provide expertise and experience in a variety of sectors, and thus helps its portfolio companies enter emerging markets in the MENA region through joint ventures, IP licensing, and other modes.