Shorooq Partners launches Nahda Fund I

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UAE-based Shorooq Partners announced the official launch of its latest Venture Debt fund, Nahda Fund I with the inaugural installment of the firm’s Venture Debt platform Nahda Fund Series. 

Leading early-stage venture capital firm investing across MENAP Shorooq has built a vetted portfolio in spotting Early-Stage startups with promising growth potential. Amongst its portfolio are some of the most anticipated startups coming out of the region including  Pure Harvest, Sarwa, Lean,  TruKKer, Capiter, and Retailo. A complement to traditional venture equity financing, venture debt provides founders with a nondilutive means of financing that requires little to no equity stakes to raise funds. 

As we release our full suite of Q3 2021 EVM Venture Investment Reports, we observe a yearly record of investment participation across MENA, Turkey, and Pakistan. Marking record-highs in both, overall investment activity where number of active investors doubled in Pakistan, and foreign investor participation grew their share of total investment in MENA by 11%YoY by Q3 2021. Continuing a 4-year consecutive growth in investor participation, number of investors in MENA has grown by 40% by Q3 2021 since 2018.  As observed in our UAE Q3 2021 Venture Investment Report, 28% of this record number of active investors across MENAPT was based in the UAE with prominent investors like Shorooq Partners Global Ventures, Mubadala Ventures, VentureSouq, MEVP, and Class 5 Global backing major rounds in 2021 YTD.


Launched in June this year, the Fund has already committed a majority of its capital including its investment into Pure Harvest, the UAE-based AgriTech revolutionizing the region’s agriculture with climate-controlled smart farms. The overwhelming amount of interest shown by founders toward the fund proves a need for Venture Debt in the region. “Once a startup reaches  a certain stage, it becomes very expensive to solely rely on equity financing for continued growth,”  explains Samir Yamani, Shorooq’s Partner leading the venture debt practice, “with a relatively stable cash flow, utilizing debt for routine expenditures such as working capital leads to a more  optimal capital structure.”  

Since launching Nahda Fund  I, Shorooq hit the fund’s initial fundraising target in just four weeks and has now raised the Fund’s full hardcap, a testament to investors’ demand for this particular asset class. Furthermore,  over half of the Fund’s subscriptions come from international investors as Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners Shane Shin highlighted “One of Shorooq’s longstanding commitment has been to connect our region with the rest of the world. We are humbled by the international interest  toward MENA’s venture ecosystem and will dedicate ourselves to continue building the bridge  connecting global investors with the best startups in the region.”  

A key partner in Shorooq’s commitment to building such a bridge is IMM Investment, one of  Korea’s top PE/VC houses with over $5bn in AUM. IMM Investment also led Pure Harvest’s latest $64.5M fundraise. The Fund was established in concert with  IMM Investment Global, an arm of IMM Investment in Hong Kong dedicated to overseas investments, who brings two decades of investment management experience to the region. “Nahda  Fund I represents a pioneering attempt by both our firms in many aspects. This is IMM’s first foray into the Middle East and we are proud to have partnered with Shorooq to provide our investor base the chance to connect with top-tier opportunities outside of Korea” concluded Youngjoon  Lee CEO of IMM Investment Global. 

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