By Startup Scene
Sawari Ventures just announced the $35 million first closing of Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I to invest in technology and knowledge driven companies in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The first closing investors are composed of global financial institutions including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK’s CDC, the French Development Agency’s private sector financing arm Proparco and the Dutch Good Growth Fund managed by Triple Jump.
“We are creating the first of a kind VC vehicle to combine top tier international and local institutional investors to cement VC as an asset class in Egypt; we are initiating a sustainable Egyptian VC industry to ensure availability of funding for future entrepreneurs” says Wael Amin, partner at Sawari Ventures.
This came during a press conference on the sidelines of the Africa 2018 Business Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Sawari Ventures will be soon announcing the closing of an Egypt-only fund in parallel to it's North-African counterpart to double down on investments in the country with investors from the largest public sector banks and governmental bodies including National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
“Investment appetite in Africa is growing aggressively, with an abundance of high-growth opportunities waiting for the right funding, and the right partners,” adds Amin. “At Sawari Ventures, we have been building knowledge economy companies in this part of the world for years, and our role today will be to channel the available capital to the right entrepreneurs.”
The fund will invest an average ticket size of $ 1.5 million and will be looking to invest in 25 growth stage companies leading the knowledge economy in a number of sectors including ICT, Deep Technology, FinTech, Education Technologies, HealthTech, and Renewable and Green Energy.
“This is our first commitment to a venture capital fund focused on Egypt. Moreover it is the first EIB operation under the Risk Capital Facility of the Economic Resilience Initiative”, said Milena Messori, head of Intermediated Finance for MSMEs at EIB. “The fund will support early and growth stage innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential to scale rapidly and grow regionally, boosting the local tech ecosystem. This support to local SMEs and dynamic start-ups will contribute to economic growth, private sector development and job creation, especially for the young generation,” added Messori.