Presella, an online tickets and events reservation application, is the first startup to get equity funding under the Central Bank (BDL) Circular number 331. Equity funds of more than $300,000 were secured by Al Mawarid Bank as well as Beirut Angels, a local business angels’ network initiated last year and led by former Minister of Telecom Nicolas Sehnaoui, Hala Fadel, Chairperson of the MIT Enterprise Forum, and Louay Al Kadri, co-founder and CEO of Presella.
The circular, issued last year, encourages local banks to invest in SMEs in order to finance their development and expansion plans.
Presella’s first round of funding was $76,000. It came from the Seeqnce accelerator. The startup was among the eight winning candidates at the Seeqnce program in 2012.
Walid Singer, COO of the startup, said that they will keep on pitching and aim for three or four rounds of funding. According to him, it is the level of funding reached by startups at Silicon Valley.
In nearly one and a half year, Presella managed around 350 events and sold over $650,000 in tickets to ten thousand users.
Singer said that they are now looking to expand their business further: “We will soon launch our business in Dubai and create the first mobile app to book events in the Arab world.” He is also exploring opportunities in Europe to widen the reach of the company.
Presella will also have Arabic and French versions. It is currently only available in English.