Wamda Capital has launched new fund to help scalable companies to become regional and global innovators
Wamda Capital, an investment vehicle initiated by Fadi Ghandour, has launched what is believed to be the largest growth stage venture fund in the region.
Wamda MENA Ventures I, a $75 million regional investment fund, aims to address an emerging equity funding gap for growth stage start-ups in the region.
According to the Wamda Research Lab’s 2014 report, 68 percent of investments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, which had received $500,000, never received any follow-on funding.
The launch included the announcement of the new fund’s investment in News Group International, a MENA- and India-focused news content consultancy, and Jamalon, an Arabic online book store.
A number of regional and international investors contributed to the new fund, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group, the Abraaj Group, Crescent Enterprises and Zain Group.
To found Wamda Capital, Fadi Ghandour partnered with Khaled Talhouni, Walid Faza and Lana Alamat.
In 2010, they first established Mena Venture Investments, an early stage angel investment network, which has been targeting investments in high growth tech start-ups led by exceptional entrepreneurs, leaders in their markets.
With the launch of their new growth-stage fund, Wamda Capital is now managing two funds to support start-ups in both phases of their development – early stage and growth stage investing – and help them scale beyond MENA borders and create successful exits, about which Ghandour said: “The tech sector is being fuelled by rising demand and has the potential to drive development, employment and innovation across the region. We have been working with tech entrepreneurs from the very early stages of this industry and will be continuing our journey.
“We are at the cusp of an incredible phase of growth in the MENA region’s tech sector.”
Fadi Ghandour is also the chairman of Wamda Platform, an entrepreneurship ecosystem enabler for MENA launched during the Celebration of Entrepreneurship in Dubai in 2010. Habib Haddad is the Platform’s founding CEO.