Algebra Ventures rises $40m for Egyptian startups
Venture capital fund raises $40m to invest in technology startups
Algebra Ventures, a new venture capital firm in Egypt has announced that it has raised $40 million for its technology startup fund.
The fund, which the company says makes it the largest in Egypt to date, will invest in up to 25 technology and technology-enabled start-ups, with a focus on technology IP, fintech, industry platforms, e-commerce and consumer internet.
The firm is led by managing partners Tarek Assaad, Ziad Mokhtar and Khaled Ismail, who have collectively managed over 30 venture capital and angel investments in previous funds and were behind some of the largest technology exits in Egypt such as Fawry (exited at a US$100 million valuation) and SysDSoft, which was acquired by Intel.
The fund is backed by Cisco Investments, the American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Algebra Ventures says it plans to raise $50m in its final closing.
"We're here to help the next generation of entrepreneurs build market-leading companies. In the midst of all the challenges our economy is currently battling with, the belief that technology and innovation are critical to progress is our main driving force," said Tarek Assaad, managing partner, Algebra Ventures. "There has been a dry up in funding recently, and this new investment comes at a very important time to revitalize growth in the sector. The new Algebra Ventures fund will provide much-needed capital to allow startups to accelerate their growth and build lasting value."
"Startups are a potentially major source of jobs and innovation, but many struggle to get the financing they need to be successful," said Philippe Le Houérou, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC. "By increasing access to capital, we can help these companies grow and create jobs. This investment shows how IFC, our development partners, and other private investors can come together to unlock the transformative potential of the private sector."
Hassan El Khatib, EBRD Managing Director, Equity commented: "The EBRD is delighted to partner with Algebra Ventures in the launch of a new chapter for the Egyptian venture capital market. A dynamic and sustainable economy relies on innovative enterprises, which in turn require capital and advice in their initial stages. The EBRD's investment seeks to address this lack of early-stage venture capital financing and develop an ecosystem of mentoring for young pioneering enterprises, thereby stimulating the growth of a vibrant technology-focused venture capital market in Egypt, focused on technology."