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IM Capital launches
angel investor program
Targeted investment

of $300,000 in first year

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Insure and Match Capital (IM Capital), a Berytech company, has launched Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels, a one-year program to link early-stage individual angel investors and micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through a “learn and earn” system.

Implemented in collaboration with Switzerland-based early-stage investing platform Go Beyond, the $300,000 program will have 25 different angel investors participate with $15,000 each during its first year.

The program aims to educate local business angels who invest in early stage startups, in order to enable them to make good investment decisions based on a lucrative business ideas and the talent of the management team.

“This initiative will help scale the existing business angels’ activities and turn angel investing into an asset class for all types of individuals,” said Maroun Chammas, Chairman of Berytech.

He also said that collaboration with Go Beyond will carry on after this program is completed one year from now. The startups will first obtain angel investment and at a later stage, those that are eligible can benefit from bank financing under Central Bank’s circular 331, Chammas said. Central Bank aims to support businesses in the knowledge sector.

The angels’ investment will be pooled through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will invest the money in the startups, which will be in different sectors, said Nicolas Rouhana, General Manager of IM Capital. “These master classes will run yearly and plant seeds for a sustainable and growing Lebanese business angels' network,” he said.

Guilhem Porcheron, Partner and Deal leader at Go Beyond, said that whenever a business angel invests in a startup, this investment triggers co-investment at a regular ratio of one-to-three, which usually comes from institutional investors and venture capital firms. This means that if a business angel invests $300,000 it could attract co-investment of almost one million dollars, he said.

The program will start in September. Every six to eight weeks, two or three MSMEs will pitch their businesses in front of a group of angel investors. “By the end of the year, we would have seen about 50 companies and selected five or six of them for investment,” Porcheron said.

The newly established IM Capital is fully owned by Berytech Foundation. It provides matching capital, equity guarantee, and support programs to a range of local early-stage businesses and investors.

The program is part of the Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative (MENA II) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help early-stage investors and businesses.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jul 13, 2016