Dubai tycoon Alabbar, MEVP launch $250m start-up fund

New fund will invest in early-stage and growth-stage tech companies in the MENA and Turkey region

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Dubai tycoon Alabbar, MEVP launch $250m start-up fund The Middle East Venture Fund III will invest in innovative early-stage and growth-stage tech companies.
By  Staff Writer Published  September 27, 2017

Dubai tycoon Mohamed Alabbar and Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) on Wednesday announced the launch of its third fund with a target size of $250m.

The Middle East Venture Fund III will invest in innovative early-stage and growth-stage tech companies in the MENA and Turkey region, a statement said.

The launch of the new fund follows the announcement in May that Alabbar and MEVP entered a partnership to create one of the leading venture capital investment platforms in the region.

Alabbar, also the chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "A new generation of tech-savvy young digital entrepreneurs is driving the growth of this region's digital ecosystem. Their innovative ideas can bring transformational changes to the local economies.

"MEVP's new fund will support emerging local tech companies with dedicated capital, specialised expertise, and operational support enabling them to reach their next level of growth."

According to reports, venture capital investments in MENA was less than 0.03% of the GDP in 2016, significantly lower than 0.20% in India and 0.40% in the US.  

Alabbar said this lack in venture capital funding is in stark contrast to the tech savviness of consumers and businesses in MENA and Turkey and their growing demand for advanced and competitive technology products and services.

The fund will offer long-term investors looking for tech exposure in the MENA and Turkey a diversified investment vehicle led by MEVP's strong management team that has a proven track record, the statement added.

Walid Hanna, MEVP founder and CEO, said: "Despite the market evolution in recent years, there remains a significant lag in the amount of capital available for growth stage venture capital funding. MEVFIII aims to address this gap. It is one of the largest venture capital funds dedicated to this region, and will help accelerate the growth of the venture capital ecosystem in meeting the growing demand for technology products and services."

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