Shorooq Partners is focused on backing Early-Stage startups in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.
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Shorooq Partners has officially launched the second edition of its seed-staged focused fund, Bedaya Fund II. The fund is valued at $150M, and will be targeting the earliest stages of the startup founders journey. This is aligned with the firm's fundamental principle of acting as founders' partners, company builders, and value investors.
Bedaya II, like its predecessor fund, will primarily focus on the Pre-Seed, Seed, Pre-series A, and Series A stage startups in FinTech, Enterprise Software, platform verticals, and digital assets. The fund has already started deploying and announcements of the first investments are soon to be made public. The fund currently boasts an exceptionally strong list of investors from the world's top-tier sovereign wealth funds, corporates, institutions, and family offices. The newest investor groups include DisruptAD - ADQ's venture platform, Dubai Future District Fund, Bupa Insurance, among others.
Venture Capital involvment in the MENA region remained robust in 2021 with UAE leading the front. The region welcomed VC funding of $2.6 billion as recorded in the MENA 2022 Venture Investment Report. The number was 138% more than the funding in 2020, and the highest the region has ever seen. The number of registered transactions also touched an all-time high of 590 deals. The top 3 investors of 2021 in the EVMs were Egypt’s Flat6Labs, USA’s Y Combinator, and Germany’s Global Founders Capital.
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Founded in 2017, Shorooq Partners has recently been making strides as the first mover in the MENAP region through its Web 3.0 thesis. Shorooq Partners recently led the pre-seed round of Nuqtah, the first NFT born out of Saudi Arabia, and will continue to concentrate on the burgeoning Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region, where most of its companies have headquartered their respective operations.
The firm has made over 80 investments in over 50 companies that currently have a gross equity value of $1.5 billion. These companies have created more than 5,000 jobs, and include names such as Pure Harvest Smart Farms, TruKKer, Capiter, Lean Technologies, Airlift, Mozn, Aumet, and more.
Shorooq Partners has rapidly expanded over the past five years. In 2021, Shorooq Partners announced the first Middle East-focused venture debt fund series Nahda Fund and has been actively supporting some of the leading companies in the region, namely Pure Harvest Smart Farms and Retailo Technologies. "We have always been early movers, be that robo-advisory, crowdfunding, SME lending, open banking, card issuer processing, and so forth. We believe Web 3.0 models like DeFi, NFT, Metaverse are going to be the key players in the next iteration of online business," said Shane Shin, a founding partner at Shorooq Partners.
The continuous increase in interest from regional and international institutional investors to explore merger and acquisition opportunities in the region and to tap into emerging market startups as a path of differentiation and a mechanism to generate higher returns is creating a stronger market for exits. In light of the announcement of the new fund, Shane Shin concluded "Shorooq Partners has been preparing for this new wave of technology disruption, and we are well-positioned to back the upcoming category leaders of Web 3.0 in our region."
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