Egyptian accelerator and VC fund Flat6Labs has announced the first close of its EGP100 million (US$5.6 million) fund with commitments of EGP20 million (US$1.12 million) from Egypt Ventures and the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF).
Flat6Labs, which has headquarters in Cairo, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi, is a regional startup accelerator programme that has invested in 54 companies to date.
The fund was first launched in December with commitments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Social Fund for Development (SFD).
The fund will allow Flat6Labs to directly support over 100 Egyptian early-stage startups over the upcoming five years by providing seed funding of up to EGP1 million (US$56,000) per startup, training, mentorship and a suite of services allowing Egyptian startups to reach their customer base and scale their operations locally and regionally.
The first closing coincides with the newly committed investments from Egypt Ventures – a company of the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) and managed by NI Capital – and the EAEF.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward for Egyptian entrepreneurs and startups and we’re thrilled to be spearheading it with our flagship accelerator programme in Cairo,” said Ahmed El Alfi, founder of Flat6Labs.
“Through the investment in Flat6Labs’ new fund, MIIC aims to support entrepreneurs to develop their skills, provide an adequate environment for rendering their projects successful, help them choose an adequate labor market, improve their business and increase startups, and provide administrative support, legal consultations and trainings,” said Dr Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s minister of investment and international cooperation.
Amal Enan, executive director of the EAEF, said her firm had identified Flat6Labs as a pivotal player in the value-chain, feeding risk-taking entrepreneurs into the job-creating private sector that EAEF looks to develop.
“EAEF looks to address gaps in financing and we identified the shortage of seed stage capital in Egypt, a critical ingredient to nourishing an entrepreneurial and risk taking culture for inclusive social and economic development,” she said.