Innovative startups and SMEs fund invests $1mln in access bridge ventures

ABV- led by Issa Aghabi and Rakan AlRashed, who bring 25 years of experience investing in and exiting tech companies across the MENA


Amman: Underscoring its ongoing mission to support innovative early-stage startups and SMEs in the Kingdom, the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF) - the largest investment fund of its kind in Jordan - has made a USD one million investment during August in Access Bridge Ventures (ABV); a UAE-based early-stage venture capital fund focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.

With a prominent regional and international standing - attained through its management network, partner support and affiliation with leading private equity firm CedarBridge Capital Partners - ABV serves as a first institutional investor, empowering entrepreneurs on their journeys from the early stages by extending end-to-end investment and operational expertise. By doing so, ABV nurtures distinguished leaders across various sectors, including healthtech, edtech, fintech, enterprise-tech and Software as a Service (SaaS).

ABV - led by Issa Aghabi and Rakan AlRashed, who bring 25 years of experience investing in and exiting tech companies across the MENA region and beyond - announced the first close of its USD 25 million fund in January 2021.

“We are pleased with our decision to invest in ABV, which is renowned for its strong network of partners. The regional fund will effectively outreach and support Jordanian early-stage startups to become leaders within their respective fields, thereby actively contributing towards the national economy and supplying talents, solutions and innovations that keep pace with today’s tech-driven era,” commented ISSF CEO, Laith Al Qasem.

In turn, ABV Managing Partner, Issa Aghabi, stated, “The MENA landscape has transformed over the past few years, with entrepreneurs and startups acting as powerful catalysts for economic growth and development. ABV boasts the unique ability to identify and cultivate this new breed of tech companies, many of which are extraordinary in their own right, and help them realize their full potentials. Our partnership with the ISSF will further enhance ABV’s capacity to invest in and work with promising home-grown Jordanian entrepreneurs to ultimately make them regional successes.”

The ISSFis registered as a Jordanian private shareholding company. The objective of the ISSF is to support and elevate Jordan’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape by facilitating the establishment of new investment funds that serve the ecosystem; making direct investments in innovative, export-oriented and scalable local startups; as well as implementing initiatives that improve the capabilities of Jordanian entrepreneurs and startup teams through training, capacity building and targeted incubation and acceleration programs.


About the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund

The ISSF is a national project established in 2017 as a private shareholding company to actively promote a fundamental shift within the local entrepreneurial and innovation landscape. The ISSF - which is the largest investment fund of its kind in Jordan - is implemented in cooperation with the World Bank over a duration of six years, concluding in November 2023. During this period, the World Bank foresees the ISSF to make both direct and indirect investments (the latter in investment funds) in 150-200 local innovation companies and build the capacities of at least 825 entrepreneurs and SMEs through specialized training to qualify them for prospective investments. The total working capital of the ISSF is USD 98 million, with a USD 48 million investment from the Central Bank of Jordan and a USD 50 million investment from the World Bank. The ISSF is committed to facilitating funding for Jordanian early-stage startups and SMEs, particularly those demonstrating ambitious vision and high growth potential. The ISSF endeavors to foster a thriving and supportive entrepreneurial environment that enables promising local entrepreneurs to transform innovative projects into sustainable startups; generate jobs for Jordanian men and women; and prompt economic sectors that serve export markets by capitalizing on the creative and technical capabilities of entrepreneurs and management teams across Jordan.

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This press release has been distributed by Bidaya Marketing Communications on behalf of the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at:
Tel:  +962 6 585 4002/6
Fax:  +962 6 585 3001
P.O. Box:  930391, Amman 11193, Jordan

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