Sawari Ventures announces final close of Egypt-focused fund

Sawari Ventures, the Cairo-based VC, has announced the final closure of its Egypt-focused fund, with a new commitment of EGP 440M ($28M), from Misr Insurance Group, Ekuity, National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and Suez Canal Bank.

The fund previously closed EGP 650M ($41M) from European Investment Bank, CDC, Proparco, DGGF which is managed by the South African fund Sango Capital, increasing the total fund size to around $69M to invest in Egyptian technology and knowledge-driven companies.

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Ahmed El Alfi, Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures commented, “The Egypt-based fund is a privately-held fund regulated by the Financial Regulatory Authority of Egypt (FRA), which allowed us to attract capital from top tier local financial institutions to co-invest with foreign capital from international development financial institutions, doubling our allocation to invest in Egyptian high growth companies to sixty-eight million U.S. Dollars.

"Our aim is to create exceptional returns through investing in knowledge-driven companies, which have the potential of bringing transformational changes to the Egyptian economy.  The fund will support local companies with dedicated capital,  in addition to quality expertise from our seasoned and specialized team, and the value add of our investors.”

Led by Ahmed Al-Alfi, Hany Al-Sonbay, and Wael Amin, Sawari Ventures has so far has invested in more than 30 companies, such as SWVL, Instabug, and Si-Ware. The fund will invest in Seed and growth-stage companies.

Basil Heni, Chairman and Managing Director of Misr Insurance Holding Company said, "Misr Insurance Holding Group, as the largest non-bank financial group in Egypt, was keen on this strategic partnership with Sawari Ventures, the leading company in managing capital funds. The partnership is directed towards emerging small and medium-sized enterprises, which is in accordance with the group’s role in supporting this vital sector in the economy. This is evident in the fact that we own the largest share in the fund.”

"Banque Misr was the first to commit to Sawari Ventures and this move is part of our strategy to support financial inclusion and digitize our banking operations and is in keeping with our roots as an entrepreneurial bank," added Akef El Maghraby, Vice Chairman of Banque Misr.

Ahmed ElSaeed, CEO of Investments at the National Bank of Egypt stated, "The National Bank of Egypt has always believed that Egyptian Small and Medium Enterprises are the growth engine of the Egyptian economy. We are very aligned with Sawari Ventures in our vision which is why we are the largest banking investor in the fund."

El-Haythem ElKobrosly, Head of Commercial, at Suez Canal Bank closed with, "We obtained our approval in record time based upon the track record and experience of the Sawari Ventures team. We believe it is the beginning of a partnership that will allow our bank to further engage in the digital economy through additional co-investments and lending."

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