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Mon 13 Nov 2000 04:00 AM

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Ebticar closer to announcing VC deals

Ebticar, a $100 million VC fund set up by HP and Chescor Capital, said it will reveal names of startups it's funding early next year.

Things had gone very quiet at Ebticar, the venture capital fund established this year by Chescor Capital and Hewlett-Packard Middle East, but announcements are now imminent.

Ali Ferling, regional manager for Hewlett-Packard, told itp.net yesterday that he expects investments in startup companies to be announced at the "beginning of next year."

Ebticar is a VC fund that was established at the bidding of the UAE Offset Group, with the aim of investing $100 million in technology startups that can bring tech skills into the UAE. The UAE Offset Group has seeded the fund with its initial round of capital and more funds are being raised from private individuals and larger companies. Chescor Capital is the fund manager, whilst HP has contributed cash and will act as Ebticar's technology consultant.

More specifically, Ferling says, HP's key role in Ebticar is to provide services and possibly leased IT equipment to startups. "We prefer to take the equity part together with the VC and HP's part is to complement this, if needed, with additional services," he says.

There were no further clues as to who the lucky recipients of Ebticar's money might be. In an earlier interview, Arabian Business.com was told that only startups with sound management teams and clear potential for profitability would be considered. Business to business Web sites and IT infrastructure were earmarked as better areas for investment than business to consumer portals.

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