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Oman-based Phaze Ventures has announced the official first closing of its debut fund capped at $30M, in a first-of-its-kind fund rooted in Muscat Oman. The fund will be targeting Early-stage startups in MENA, North America, and Europe.
Established in 2018, Phaze Ventures is the first private venture capital firm in the Sultanate, founded to fund early-stage disruptive technology companies from around the globe and accelerate the transformation of the region’s economies. The firm’s existing investments include eMushrif, Carzaty, and Voyager, and is headed by its three co-founders: Abdullah Al-Shaksy, co-founder and CEO, Mohammed Al-Wahaibi, co-founder and partner, and Masoud Al-Rawahi, co-founder and partner.
2021 has been a record year for investor participation in MENA and across EVMs as most recently observed in our Q3 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report. As the total number of active investors in MENA observed an 8% YoY increase by Q3 2021, international investors including Global Ventures, 500 Global (500 Startups), and Y Combinator have increased by 10% as well. While the UAE, KSA, and Egypt account for more than 42% of all active investors in MENA by Q3 2021, launching a first-of-its-kind VC venture in Oman puts this Emerging Venture Market on the right track.
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The team is supported by a diverse group of advisors with leadership experience at global technology firms including Amazon, Siri, and Spotify. “We founded Phaze Ventures at the start of 2018, since then we have invested in and scaled several businesses across MENA, Europe, and North America, as well as created an incredible platform with our accelerator program and industry partnerships,” says Abdullah Al-Shaksy, co-founder and CEO at Phaze Ventures. Our ability to support high-potential founders is backed by our world-class advisory board and deeply collaborative platform of strategic industry and ecosystem partnerships.” Al-Shaksy added.
Seeing the Oil & Gas dependant economy in the region and the burgeoning need for economic diversity, the team set forth to impact local structures by supporting unique industry innovations. The fund started with the founders’ personal capital and connections, before rapidly growing their network of strategic and global, and regional partners. The fund launches with commitments from the country’s largest investors, including Oman Information and Communications Technology Group (part of the sovereign fund of Oman), Ominvest, and several prominent family offices. In light of this milestone, Abdullah Al-Shaksy concluded “We are extremely interested in disruptive technologies in traditionally undisrupted markets, with the ability to create a significant and sustainable impact on a global scale... With the launch of our fund, we believe our value proposition to the ecosystem has come full circle.”
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