Saudi investors among $25m fund to support regional startups

Saudi investors among $25m fund to support regional startups
The fund is targeting a final goal of over $25 million. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 11 January 2021

Saudi investors among $25m fund to support regional startups

Saudi investors among $25m fund to support regional startups
  • ABV plans to use it to support high-growth tech startups from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi-based Access Bridge Ventures (ABV) has announced the first close of its early-stage venture capital fund, with prominent Saudi names listed among the investors.

The fund is targeting a final goal of over $25 million. ABV plans to use it to support high-growth tech startups from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan and the wider Middle East region.

It announced commitments from regional institutional investors such as Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company, the Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) and Jada, which was set up by the Public Investment Fund in 2019 to focus on investments in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Issa Aghabi, ABV co-founder and managing partner, said: “The MENA landscape has transformed over the past few years, with entrepreneurs and startups acting as a catalyst for economic growth and development. ABV has the ability to identify and cultivate this new breed of tech companies, many of which are extraordinary in their own right, and help them realise their full potential. Securing our first close reflects the confidence in ABV’s capabilities and investment strategy, where we lead the round and support our founders throughout their journey.”

FASTFACTS

• The fund is targeting a final goal of over $25 million. ABV plans to use it to support high-growth tech startups from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan and the wider Middle East region.

• SVC is a Saudi government venture capital fund established in 2018 by Monshaat as part of the Private Sector Stimulus Program. It has a mandate to invest SR2.8 billion in local SMEs and startups.

SVC is a Saudi government venture capital fund established in 2018 by Monshaat as part of the Private Sector Stimulus Program. It has a mandate to invest SR2.8 billion ($750 million) in local SMEs and startups.

Jada was launched in late 2019 to support Saudi diversification efforts, as the private sector increased its share of the gross domestic product. “With a capital of SR4 billion, the company will serve as a catalyst for SME investment and provide new job opportunities,” the PIF said in a statement.


IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance
Updated 34 sec ago

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance
Iraq has requested emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund and talks are ongoing between the parties, the IMF said late on Sunday.
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi told Bloomberg News earlier that Iraq was in talks with the IMF for a $6 billion loan package.
“The Iraqi authorities have requested emergency assistance from the IMF under the Rapid Financing Instrument, and indicated their intention to also request a longer-term arrangement with the Fund in support of planned economic reforms,” an IMF representative said in an emailed statement.
“Discussions of the authorities’ request for emergency assistance are ongoing.”
The IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument provides quick financial assistance, which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance-of-payments need.
Financial assistance under the RFI is provided without the need for a full-fledged program or review, according to the IMF website https://bit.ly/3c6YubX.
Iraq may ask for an additional $4 billion in low-cost loans through another program linked to government reforms, Allawi said on Sunday.
Iraq devalued the dinar last month after a collapse in global oil prices, a major source of Iraq’s financial resources.
Allawi told Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/3peGG2h that Iraq also planned other types of funding to help plug the budget gap. Once the spending plan was approved, the government would move to issue $5 billion in domestic bonds to expand its financial base.
The OPEC member’s economy has only a small manufacturing base and almost all goods are dollar-priced imports.