Who are Lebanon's most active investors?
MAGNiTT's 2019 Lebanon Venture Investment Report revealed that Lebanese startup deals jumped 18% from 2018 to 2019 to 45 deals and while the number of investments has gone up, they are mainly at the early-stage (79%), with big-ticket later-stage investments remaining stagnant. Contrarily, 2020 has so far seen over 10 deals take place.
As one of the oldest startup and venture capital ecosystems in the region, Lebanon has dealt with a tumultuous past few years, from political protests, a falling economy, social unrest, and the recent explosion in Beirut, aligning with the COVID-19 crisis, the country, as well as its startup space have been affected in a variety of ways.
The term 'resilience' usually comes to mind when referring to the Lebanese people and its startups and despite what the past few years have shown us or the assumptions that can be made with regards to struggles that even well-funded companies will face or a potential decline in talent as they shift to stronger markets, investors are still investing in the country (despite a decline) and we believe it's important to shine a light on such positives.
Following the recent explosion, accelerators and investors stepped in to provide their support to help boost the space; Shorooq Partners launched the 'Shorooq Lebanon’ initiative to look for talented individuals interested in being part of an entrepreneurial environment, Dubai Design District enabled entrepreneurs to restart operations and regain a local and regional footprint, whilst Launch DXB partnered with Virtuzone to extend support to the startup community.
Ziad Jreijiri, Co-Founder and CEO of Oreyeon previously told MAGNiTT, “Startups are known to be disruptive and this is exactly what we need in our country, disruption. We have the duty to ease the pain and give back value to our community as much as we can, now more than ever. This has helped us get back our tunnel vision that we need.”
Meet the 5 investors who have invested in the highest amount of Lebanon-based startups by the number of deals, from 2015 - 2020 and discover if your next investment is on the horizon:
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Speed is a tech accelerator based out of the Beirut Digital District that empowers software startups to succeed and scale globally through a 3-month mentorship-driven program, $30K in funding, and a lifelong network of mentors and partners.
Berytech Fund II is a $51M Beirut-based VC. The objective is to invest in small and medium-sized Lebanese enterprises with high growth potential and high human added value.
4. IM Capital
IM Capital provides matching capital, equity guarantee as well as technical assistance and support to a broad range of qualified early-stage businesses and investors in Lebanon.
Middle East Venture Partners manages regional technology-focused venture capital funds with more than $260M in assets under management. To date, it has invested in more than 50 portfolio companies across MENA and Turkey.
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