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News > Private Equity > Fundraising

Sawari Ventures reaches $35m first close for North Africa Fund

Anna Lyudvig
Dec. 19, 2018, 10:17 p.m.
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Sawari Ventures, an international venture capital firm, has announced a $35m first closing of Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I (SVNFI). 

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Sawari Ventures, an international venture capital firm, has announced a $35m first closing of Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I (SVNFI). 

The fund will invest in technology and knowledge driven companies in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. 

The first closing investors included the European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK’s CDC, the French Development Agency’s private sector financing arm Proparco and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) managed by Triple Jump.

Milena Messori, Head of Intermediated Finance for MSMEs at EIB, said: “This is our first commitment to a venture capital fund focused on Egypt. Moreover it is the first EIB operation under the Risk Capital Facility of the Economic Resilience Initiative.”

“The fund will support early and growth stage innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential to scale up rapidly and grow regionally, boosting the local tech ecosystem. This support to local SMEs and dynamic start-ups will contribute to economic growth, private sector development and job creation, especially for the young generation,” she added.

Johann Choux, Head of the Innovation Division at Proparco, added: “Proparco is committed to support the nascent African VC industry, to bridge the financing gap for talented start-up entrepreneurs. This investment in the Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I fully fits our mandate to support innovation, skilled job creation and access to essential services in the region.”

Sawari Ventures will be soon announcing the closing of an Egypt only fund in parallel to SVNFI to double down on Egypt investments with investors from the largest public sector banks and governmental bodies including National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).

“We are creating the first of a kind VC vehicle to combine top tier international and local institutional investors to cement VC as an asset class in Egypt; we are initiating a sustainable Egyptian VC industry to ensure availability of funding for future entrepreneurs” said Wael Amin, Partner at Sawari Ventures.

The fund will invest an average ticket size of $1.5m and will be looking to invest in 25 growth-stage companies leading the knowledge economy in a number of sectors including ICT, Deep Technology, FinTech, Education Technologies, HealthTech, and Renewable and Green Energy.

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