WOMENA, a UAE-based women-only angel investor group, celebrated its two-year anniversary on Wednesday with continued enthusiasm to encourage women to fund MENA start-ups and early stage enterprises.
“Tonight we are celebrating not only WOMENA’s progress, but also the tremendous growth we have seen in the ecosystem,” said Chantalle Dumonceaux, a co-founder of WOMENA, at a party that drew more than 120 investors and other start-up ecosystem stakeholders at La Cantine Du Faubourg in DIFC on Wednesday evening.
Dumonceaux and Elissa Freiha, WOMENA’s Emirati co-founder and director, launched WOMENA in November 2014 to empower and educate women investors in the MENA region. WOMENA provides a supportive, professional network and dependable guidance to invest in new companies in the MENA region and facilitates the investment process from deal sourcing to close.
“We are most proud of the successes of our two first portfolio companies, Melltoo and AlemHealth which have seen nearly 10x growth since we invested in them a year a half ago,” added Dumonceaux. “We are also excited to announce two new portfolio companies, Bayzat and Souqalmal, from whom we expect to see great things in the future.”
Starting with a small group of 10 investors in 2014, WOMENA has grown to 40 members who have invested AED 1.7 million ($462,000) in six portfolio companies.
“The success of WOMENA and the fact that 80 percent of our members are women prove that women have a place in investment and can significantly contribute to the growth of an innovation economy,” said Freiha. “In the coming year, we will be developing this potential further by launching a series of initiatives to raise awareness and educate women to be confident angel investors.”
To date, WOMENA has successfully helped its members to identify and invest in four pioneering technology start-ups, namely Melltoo, AlemHealth, OfficeRock, and Wrappup.
Furthermore, WOMENA regularly holds workshops to train high-net worth women how to be angel investors. The two co-founders have also organised a series of free webinars titled “Learn How To Pitch To Investors” for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
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