VC is alive and well

Dubai Internet City-based Injazat invests in Jordan’s STS and confirms plans to step up its funding activities this year.

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By  David Ingham Published  January 18, 2004

Injazat Technology Fund confirmed today (January 18) that it will invest an undisclosed sum in Jordan-based Specialized Technical Services (STS). The DIC-based VC has been stepping up its activities recently and in an interview with last week its CEO, Hussein Rifai, said that the fund was looking at investing the remaining half of its $50 million reserve in 2004. “So far, we’ve deployed somewhere in the vicinity of half our fund, we are hoping we will deploy the other half in the next nine months or so,” he said. “Our next target acquisitions will probably cover expansion in the GCC, predominantly Saudi and the Northern Gulf. We are on track with a Saudi player. The other potential [area] is far North Africa.” STS is a systems integrator, implementing technology solutions from companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Sun, IBM and Cisco for corporate customers. A subsidiary company, BusinessOne, delivers e-business solutions such as online payment systems to governments, banks and telecomms companies. “The group stands today as a significant regional player in the rapidly growing IT service and solution markets in the MENA, bringing in valuable foreign exchange through export of its solutions and services," said Rifai. "This made it a strong candidate for funding.” For STS, the investment helps the company achieve its goals of regional expansion and eventually an IPO. “Through our tie-up with Injazat, we now have access to their team of regional experts and funds for consolidating our market position in our established markets such as Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf countries, as well as help finance our new operations and large projects in emerging markets such as Iraq and Sudan,” said Ramzi Zeine, chairman of STS. "This will position the company for an IPO on the public stock markets in the near future." Injazat is an Islamic venture capital firm targeting tech companies in the Middle East and North Africa. The fund was established by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, an affiliate of the Islamic Development Bank, and Gulf Finance House (GFH), and is supported by Dubai Islamic Bank, Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO) and Iran Foreign Investment Corporation (IFIC).

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