Algebra ventures completes $40 million first closing of largest VC fund in Egypt

The fund will invest in up to 25 technology and technology-enabled start-ups.

  
Newly formed venture capital firm founded by experienced VC and serial entrepreneurs, backed by IFC, EBRD, CISCO Investments, EAEF

14 December 2016, Cairo, Egypt

Algebra Ventures today officially announced the US$40 million first closing of its new technology venture capital fund, at the moment the largest in Egypt. The fund will invest in up to 25 technology and technology-enabled start-ups in different areas including technology IP, fintech, industry platforms, e-commerce and consumer internet. The investments will predominantly be in the range of $500,000 to $4million. Algebra Ventures plans to reach a final closing of $50m.

“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.”

Algebra Ventures 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.

Backed by Cisco Investments, the American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the fund is now ready to invest in high-potential technology start-ups looking for institutional funding.

“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.

Driven by strong technology adoption trends in Egypt and the MENA region, the team seeks to back entrepreneurial teams with the vision and execution skills needed to disrupt large markets and build sector-leading companies.

Algebra Ventures will actively work with different ecosystem players including angels, accelerators and incubators, local and regional funds, later-stage investors and support organizations to help strengthen the growing entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt.

-Ends-

ABOUT ALGEBRA VENTURES
Algebra Ventures is a newly formed Egyptian Venture Capital firm. It was founded by three partners who have collectively invested in some of the most successful startups in Egypt today and have realized some of the country’s most prominent technology exits. Algebra Ventures aims to help the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs build unique, scalable market leaders and develop the growing Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem. www.algebraventures.com

Press enquiries:

Dina.elshiati@publicistinc.com

Tarek Assaad
Tarek has been the Managing Partner of Ideavelopers, a leading Venture Capital firm in Egypt, since 2009. He led the Ideavelopers team in in selecting new investments, supporting entrepreneurs and realizing exits. Prior to Ideavelopers, he was the General Manager of CID Consulting where he led the company’s aggressive growth and establishment as one of the leading consulting firms in Egypt. Tarek started his career in Silicon Valley where he worked in technology development and later in management consulting. Tarek holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from Ain Shams University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Ziad Mokhtar

Ziad has been a Partner at Ideavelopers, a leading Venture Capital firm in Egypt, since 2010. Ziad sought new investment opportunities and managed existing portfolio. Before that, Ziad worked at McKinsey & Company in projects related to economic development, healthcare, and education. Prior to that, Ziad was the CEO of eSpace, which he cofounded in 2000. During his tenure at eSpace, he led the development of the #1 mobile salesforce solution in the region, and spearheaded the company’s international services business. Ziad holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Alexandria University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Khaled Ismail

Khaled is the Founder and Chairman of KIangel, an angel investment fund focused on investing in early-stage startups in the Middle East. The fund has invested in 11 companies since 2011 and is still growing. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started 7 companies in Egypt since 1992. His latest company, SySDSoft, which is a technology company focused on the design of wireless communication system modems, was acquired by Intel in March 2011. Khaled became thereafter and until January 2014 the Managing Director of Intel Mobile Communications. He was the Chairman of Endeavor Egypt (2011-2014), board member of Orascom Telecom (2004-2011) and board member of the IT Industry Development Authority (2009-2012). Between 2005 and 2007, Ismail was the Senior Advisor of the Egyptian Minister of CIT, responsible for Technology Development. Khaled holds several academic degrees including a PhD from MIT and an Executive Management degree from Wharton and holds 22 US patents.

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© Press Release 2016

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