GCC fund Nuwa Capital raises $75mln to deploy in MENA startups

The fund primarily targets startups in rapidly growing markets in the MENA region and neighbouring geographies

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Seed funding or seed stage funding is a very early investment which aims at helping a business grow and generating its own capital. Also referred to as seed money or seed capital, investors often get equity stake in exchange for the capital invested.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Seed funding or seed stage funding is a very early investment which aims at helping a business grow and generating its own capital. Also referred to as seed money or seed capital, investors often get equity stake in exchange for the capital invested.

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Nuwa Capital, a venture capital firm based in Dubai and Riyadh, announced the first close of its fund Nuwa Ventures Fund I, having raised $75 million of its $100 million target in less than a year since launch.

The fund primarily targets startups in rapidly growing markets in the MENA region and neighbouring geographies, including Turkey, Pakistan, and Sub-Saharan Africa, it said in a statement.

“We launched the fund in a year forever marked with the upending of how our economies and societies have traditionally functioned. At the heart of this shift was the unprecedented adoption of technology, particularly in emerging markets. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to reshape our economies around innovation and entrepreneurship and prime our societies for decades of positive growth,” said Khaled Talhouni, managing partner at Nuwa Capital, who is a co-founder along with Sarah Abu Risheh and Stephanie Nour Prince.

To date, the fund has signed with large groups and family offices in sectors like healthcare, pharmaceutical, real estate, F&B, media, and logistics. Nuwa Capital counts leading regional institutional investors among its investor base.

Prior to closing the fund, the team has invested in several regional companies, including Eyewa, Homzmart and Flexxpay

"We expect to see companies continue to grow regionally and invest in their businesses. We have been operating in this space for about a decade and continue to see new models emerge and further blur the lines between tech and non tech. As the appetite of corporates to meaningfully work with startups increasingly develops, we will be witnessing more pronounced changes across the regional ecosystem and seeing more startups reaching escape velocity," said Sarah Abu Risheh.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com

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