Jordan’s ISSF (Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund) has announced its investment in Shorooq Partners’ Bedaya Fund, a leading seed and early-stage VC in the Middle East. Shorooq invests primarily in the Seed and early-stage across fintech, software, and platform startups in the GCC, Egypt, and Jordan.
“ISSF supports the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Jordan. Our activities contribute to creating a competitive economy and job creation at a fundamental level. This partnership is a testament to both Shorooq’s and ISSF’s commitment to Jordan and our mission of creating positive economic and social impact.” said Laith Al-Qassem, CEO of ISSF. “ISSF is confident of its partnership with Shorooq as more than 45% of Shorooq’s first investments were made to support pre-revenue startups and they embody the founder-centric principle, which is essential for the Jordanian startup ecosystem to thrive.”
Shorooq Partners main focus is on early-stage startups due to the strong belief that there is a massive gap where many promising startups are coming out of incubator and accelerator programmes, yet there are no sophisticated, institutional VCs to lead the Seed stage investments and help them get to the Series A, which they believe are relatively crowded. The VC desires to fill this massive and significant gap that leaves the founders helpless and work closely and operationally with them as their Partners and Company Builders to become the leading Seed and early-stage VC in the region.
They shared with MAGNiTT what brought them together with ISSF, "We focus on MENA's ecosystem development and believe that Jordan is a key player where the entrepreneurial ecosystem is maturing fast and steadily. Jordan’s startup-friendly ecosystem, backed by royal institutions and telecom giants, offers a great concentration of innovative initiatives, talent, and expertise."
Shorooq believes that passionate Jordanian entrepreneurs are playing leading roles in founding leading Arab tech companies and are excited to build personal and meaningful relationships with the founders and startups from Jordan, building the ecosystem together. Shorooq strongly believes in the pool of growing and attractive startups that Jordan represents and this is particularly relevant to the Bedaya Fund’s core strategy of leading the Seed stage startups.
The Bedaya Fund I marks the second fund in Shorooq Partners’ journey as they are joined by several of the region’s preeminent sovereign wealth funds, alongside top-tier European and Asian family offices. Inspired by the ethos of being “Founders’ Partners,” the firm is dedicated to support and enable the next wave of company builders, creating a lasting impact in Jordan and beyond.
The Bedaya Fund has already made sizable investments in trailblazing startups including Repzo, a fully Arabic enabled CRM for field employees; TruKKer, the leading truck-aggregator in the Middle East; Sarwa, the largest robo-advisory wealth management platform in the region; and Nymcard, a payment infrastructure company enabling the real-time issuance and real processing of virtual cards, just to name a few.
“Since our inception in 2016, we have ardently committed ourselves to fostering the technological transformation in the Middle East. Jordan is an integral part of this region with top tier talents and a robust tech ecosystem which has demonstrated a 50% CAGR in terms of funding, new ventures, and investor interest in the last 3 years. This represents an incredible opportunity just before another inflection point,” said Shane Shin, Founding Partner at Shorooq. “We are humbled to have a renowned and resourceful partner like ISSF supporting us on this grand mission to bring technological innovation in Jordan and more” he added.
Shorooq Partners' have a unique vision for the future, "We strongly prefer to lead all of our investments, particularly in the Seed and Pre-Series A Stages where Shorooq can work closely with the founders and create the most tangible value and impact on their journey. These are the exact stages where some other VC funds may not focus on given such an early stage and heavy risk nature. We will continue to refine our focus on the Seed stage and remain focused on being Founders' Partners."
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