SEAF announces ASMA Invest as a new investor to support startups and innovation in Morocco
SEAF Morocco Growth Fund (SMGF) welcomes ASMA Invest as a new investor. ASMA Invest joins fund shareholders La Caisse Centrale de Garantie, La Caisse Marocaine des Retraites, Bank of Africa (BMCE Bank), USAID (Wise Venture Capital), and the SEAF group.
SEAF Morocco Growth Fund is an investment fund regulated by the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) with the designation of a “Société de Placement Collectif en Capital” (asset manager). SMGF invests in innovative startups and SMEs with high growth potential, targeting the Moroccan and international market, at the seed and early stage of their development. The Fund was created as part of the "InnovInvest Fund (IFI)" program managed by the Caisse Centrale de Garantie to promote innovative entrepreneurship.
Meriem Zairi, Managing Director of the Fund said: "Following La Caisse Marocaine des Retraites, we are extremely pleased to welcome a new institutional investor, ASMA INVEST, in the final closing of our SMGF Fund. The entry of ASMA INVEST demonstrates the confidence of leading institutional investors in supporting innovative companies and their willingness to support talented Moroccan entrepreneurs, a very buoyant segment with a strong impact on the national economy. This is all the more timely in the context of the economic crisis linked to COVID, in which companies will have to redouble their innovation to seize emerging opportunities. “
Founded in 1989, ASMA Invest is a leading institutional investor in Morocco. With capital of MAD 2 billion, it has to its credit some forty diversified investment operations of more than MAD 5 billion, ranging from real estate and agriculture - directly managed - to equity investments in several companies.
"We are pleased with our association with SEAF, with a track record of more than 30 years in emerging countries, which allows us, through its SMGF fund, to contribute to the emergence of great initiatives carried by a gifted Moroccan youth, in whom we must have confidence. It is through first-class creation of innovation in traditional sectors or in breakthrough technologies that we hope that our Morocco will take the leadership regionally and globally. The current COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the relevance of this." comments Mr. Hicham Safir, Managing Director of ASMA Invest.
Launched in September 2018, the SMGF seeks to fill the gap in financing for startups and innovation in Morocco and serve as a catalyst for the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The investment and technical assistance provided by the Fund aims to improve the rate at which entrepreneurs successfully create businesses and to accelerate the expansion of innovative companies.
Two years after its launch, the fund has made 5 investments in startups at the forefront of their markets: 3Dental, a healthtech company specialized in digital dentistry; eDukaty, an Edtech company specialized in virtual classes; MeilleurCreditImmo.ma, the country’s first free and 100% online real estate credit broker; Mazma, a Fintech startup and Sowit, an Agritech specialized in precision agriculture in Africa.
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2019 has seen $516M invested in GCC-based startups, a 22% drop in total funding from $661M in 2018, mainly concentrated in the UAE. Discover more trends and insights in our 2019 GCC Venture Investment Report.