Insure & Match Ventures launches Second Fund
Insure & Match Ventures has launched a Second Fund, SMEF, under USAID Lebanon Investment Initiative to support entrepreneurs and business owners.
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Insure and Match Ventures (IM Ventures) have announced the launch of the Scale Manufacture and Export Fund (SMEF), its second high-growth investment vehicle under the USAID Lebanon Investment Initiative (LII). The SME Fund, for which IM Ventures provided an initial $6M in capital and raised an additional $6M from private investors, will support entrepreneurs and business owners who are building market-leading businesses.
The MENA region has been a strong center for VC interest having aggregated over $2Bn in the first nine months of the year, as seen in our MENA Q3 2022 Venture Investment Report. Aside from raising sizable rounds including a couple of Mega rounds ($100M+) this year, the region has also witnessed the launch of many MENA-focused funds this year. We have seen active efforts directed towards empowering startups, especially in the Early-Stage, recently, Switzerland-based Seedstars launched a fund to invest in 100 startups in Emerging Markets including Africa and MENA. Similar to this fund, funds for smaller markets have also been launched this year, ADQ launched a $100M Technology-focused Venture Capital fund with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) of Jordan, in June.
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The Lebanon Investment Initiative is a $38M program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Mary Eileen Devitt, USAID Mission Director, commented on the fund launch: “The SME Fund, similar to its predecessor the Save our Startups (SOS) fund, embodies a true American-Lebanese partnership to create opportunities for Lebanon’s private sector to contribute to Lebanon’s economic and social stability and prosperity.”
IM Ventures works in partnership with business incubators, business accelerators, business angels, venture capital, and private equity funds to co-fund or partially insure their investments ranging from SEED stage to growth phase. “SMEF will provide local companies with the capital, expertise, and operational support they need to grow and prosper in the market, increase their export potential, and expand internationally. We are partners in their growth! This milestone comes to actively contribute to the investment and innovation ecosystem in the country. We value the trust and support of our investors and partners, and IM Ventures is still committed to continuously creating impact and supporting the Lebanese economic growth”, said Dr. Nicolas Rouhana, Chairman & CEO of IM Ventures.
Maroun N. Chammas, President of Berytech Foundation and LII Chief of Party, also commented on the launch, “Despite the economic crisis in Lebanon and devaluation of the local currency, Berytech continues to pursue opportunities in different sectors by partnering with high-potential founders to address specific market gaps. With the ongoing support of USAID, our aim is to bring transformational changes to the Lebanese economy. We have always believed that SMEs are important contributors to job creation and economic development. We are very aligned with USAID in our vision to address the core challenges and increase resilience.”
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