500 Startups MENA fund achieves final close of $33m

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Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm 500 Startups has announced ts Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-focused 500 Falcons fund has made a final close at $33 million.

500 Startups launched 500 Falcons as its investment vehicle in the region, and has already used it to make investments in the likes of Egyptian startups Eventtus and Mumm.

The final US$33 million close comes two years after a first one at US$15 million, and exceeds 500 Startups’ initial target of US$30 million. Investors include the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and the Oman Investment Fund.

500 Startups, which has invested in 105 companies across 16 countries in MENA, is aiming to make between 100 to 150 investments using half the fund’s capital, while the rest will be used to make follow-on investments in the top 20 per cent of these portfolio companies.

“Witnessing firsthand how other emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, India and Latin America have grown and developed, we can trace the development of our market against those regions,” said Hasan Haider, venture partner for 500 Startups in the Middle East.

“Having access to a global pool of partners that are interested in the region from Korean, Chinese, European and Japanese investors helps our startups tap into deeper pools of capital.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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