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A list of Egyptian SME’s & Startup Investors

We have compiled a list of 16 different investors to whom Egyptian entrepreneurs can pitch their product.

We have compiled a list of 16 different investors to whom Egyptian entrepreneurs can pitch their product.

Since 2015, a number of investment deals have been sealed in Egypt including price comparison site Yaoota, fintech startup Paymob and Instabug, and Egyptian investors are becoming increasingly active.

Below we list the Egyptian venture capital and seed funds, and angels who are actively investing in the local startup space, roughly in order of investment size.

Cairo Angels
Launched: 2011
Investment size: $25,000 – $150,000
Sector: generally pure-tech

Cairo Angels is a group of private investors that has since invested $1.5 million in over 15 companies. It consists of around 80 angels of which half are active. Most companies they support are tech-based, but this is an ecosystem-driven trend rather than an official mandate. New investment deals are expected to be announced soon. The group’s most prominent members include founder Hossam Allam, Con O’Donnell, Hanan Abdel Meguid and Aly Al Shalakany. Previous investments include online obituary El Wafeyat and hardware startup Integreight.

Flat6labs
Launched: 2011
Investment size: $10,000 – $15,000
Sector: various

Flat6labs is a startup accelerator which also makes seed investments in return for 10-15 percent equity. It has supported over 220 entrepreneurs and 90 companies. Besides Cairo, it also has branches in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon and most recently in Tunisia. Founded in 2011 by Sawari Ventures and AUC, Flat6labs offers funding, office space, training, legal support and mentorship for startups. In March 2016, Flat6labs announced the closing of a new $5.6 million fund to support startups.

KI Angels
Launched: 2011
Investment size: $50,000 – $300,000
Sector: various

KI Angels is the investment fund of angel investor Khaled Ismail, the founder of Sysdsoft and an active player in the Egyptian startup scene. It has so far invested in 12 companies with an average investment of $200,000. So far Ismail has exited two companies, Top Choice Admissions, and Jobzella. Recently, KI Angels closed a deal with the startup Filkhedma.

Kamelizer
Launched: 2014
Investment size: seed
Sector: pure tech

Kamelizer is the startup angel investment fund of technology entrepreneur and former OTVentures CEO Hanan Abdel Meguid. In July this year, Kamelizer signed a deal with Orcas (formerly Cairo Sitters).

Menagurus
Launched: 2016
Investment size: early stage
Sector: generally pure tech

Menagurus was launched in early 2016 by eight Egyptian investors with over $12 million in capital. It said in June it was on the verge of signing deals with six IT startups in Egypt and Lebanon. Menagurus seeks a 30-45 percent stake in the companies they invest in and originally planned to invest in 15-20 startups with an investment timeline of three to five years. They’re now also spending $5 million on starting their own ecommerce company, either in Egypt or Kenya.

A15
Launched: 2015
Investment size: $50,000 to $250,000
Sector: generally pure tech

Fadi Antaki’s A15 is both an investor and creating internal startups out of inherited legacy businesses. It’s set aside $3 million to invest in startups as well as undertaken mergers of its own in-house startups with outside companies, for example, Dishdino with food delivery startup Mumm. They take minority stakes of 8-30 percent in straight investments (such as that in Paymob), syndicated investments where it puts money in alongside other investors, and in mergers such as that with Mumm.

Sawari Ventures
Launched: 2010
Investment size: $250,000 – $1,000,000
Sector: generally pure-tech

Sawari Ventures is the investor in Flat6Labs companies, offering to fund beyond the seed and angel level. It provides initial investments between $250,000 and $1,000,000 and aims to invest $2 million to $5 million over the lifespan of a company. Most companies it invests in are technology-based. In 2015, Sawari Ventures was in the process of closing a new separate $50 million venture capital fund. However, since then no news on the fund has come out and it appears not to be closed yet. They have invested in app developer VimovFinancial Service Company, and hardware developer Silminds.

Tamkeen Capital
Launched: 2011
Investment size: seed and Series A
Sector: pure tech

Tamkeen Capital is a venture capital firm founded in Egypt after the 2011 revolution. It offers one of the longest local incubation periods in Egypt, up to one year, and invests in ‘technology-enabled’ companies. Entrepreneur Tarek Fahim, who cofounded consultancy firm Quick Wins, is the fund’s general partner. The firm has invested in several Egyptian companies including Edfa3ly.

Endure Capital
Launched: 2015
Investment size: Series A
Sector: various

Another project from Tarek Fahim is Endure Capital, an early stage, and higher investment fund. Headquartered in California, it has invested in Egyptian startups including KarmsolarEdfa3ly, and Shezlong.

Algebra Ventures
Launched: 2016
Investment size: Series A and B
Sector: various

Algebra is a $50 million fund founded in 2015 by Egyptian investors Ziad Mokhtar, Tarek Assaad and Khaled Ismail. In June, the fund raised $40 million, of which $10 million provided by the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund. Mokhtar and Assaad are also principals of the EFG Hermes fund Ideavelopers, which besides this is unrelated to Algebra. Algebra is currently in the process of closing and first deals have yet to be announced.

Egyptian American Enterprise Fund (EAEF)
Launched: 2011
Investment size: Series A and B
Sector: various

The EAEF was established by previous US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the Arab Spring protests in 2011 to deploy US funds to support the private sector. The concept is based on a similar programme that existed in eastern European countries after the fall of the USSR in 1990. The EAEF mainly invests through other funds, such as Algebra Ventures, but has supported startups directly as well. Direct deals have been sealed with financial service providers Fawry and Sawra Capital, and recently it funded startup Smart Care with $1.2 million.

Ideavelopers
Launched: 2004 and 2008
Investment size: $1 million – $4 million
Sector: generally pure tech

Ideavelopers had two funds, one of $10 million that was fully invested and a second that closed in 2008 of $40 million designed as a follow-on fund. It is currently actively investing, according to the website. It has so far invested over $25 million in 17 companies in Egypt and the MENA region. From Egypt, these include Advanced Smart Cards, OstazOnline, Allied Egypt, Nefsak, Fawry, Nezal Entertainment, Offerna and Smart Card Application.

Bedaya
Launched: 2016
Investment size: up to $6.3 million
Sector: cleantech and startups in remote areas

Bedaya, the first private sector-led government fund in Egypt, launched a new $17 million fund, to support SMEs in return for equity. Bedaya invests 15 percent of its allocation in renewable energy companies and 60 percent is allocated for companies in ‘remote areas’, to create opportunities in underdeveloped areas. Bznsbuilder is one its most prominent investments.

138 Pyramids
Launched: 2012
Investment size: growth
Sector: various

138 Pyramids was launched in 2012 with $10 million capital by businesswoman Neveen El Tahri, and funds startups and SMEs managed by parent company Delta Inspire, an Egyptian investment management firm. The name 138 Pyramids refers to the 138 ancient pyramids in Egypt and aims to support 138 new ‘pyramids’, in terms of promising startups and early-stage companies. It has invested in four companies so far, among which Temraza and Barakah Agency.

Ayadi Company for Investment and Development
Launched: 2014
Investment size: unknown
Sector: agriculture and tourism

The Egyptian government announced the launch of Ayadi in December 2014 to support entrepreneurship and SMEs in Egypt. The company was launched with a $46 million fund and seeks to raise $11.3 million over five years. In early 2016, the company announced it would invest in 11 projects and SMEs throughout the year mostly in the agriculture and tourism sectors.

Wamda

2 comments

  1. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index, Egypt is ranked 81st among the world’s countries in terms of entrepreneurship. Algeria comes in 73rd place, Morocco in 70th, Lebanon in 63rd, Jordan in 56th, Tunisia in 42nd, Kuwait in 39th, Oman in 37th, Bahrain in 34th, Saudi Arabia in 30th, Qatar in 21st, UAE in 19th, while Israel comes in 17th.

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