Lebanon Businessnews News

$50 million IMPACT Fund by MEVP
Venture capital bridges between local startups and Silicon Valley
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Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) announced the launch the IMPACT Fund, a $50 million venture capital fund that will invest between one and five million dollars per operation in knowledge-based startups, with ICT and creative industries as primary sectors.

The fund will also address Lebanese expats and foreign entrepreneurs to start entrepreneurial ventures using the local market as a launching pad. Walid Hanna, Managing Partner at MEVP said that they are adopting this strategy to encourage expatriates to come back. “Lots of Lebanese entrepreneurs who founded companies in the USA are lacking equity investment there for many reasons. Through the IMPACT Fund, we are aiming at funding their projects.”

IMPACT Fund by MEVP will be compliant with The Central Bank’s (BDL) Circular 331 which invites banks and financial institutions to get equity in startups and SMEs. Confirmed partner sponsors are Blominvest Bank and MedSecurities. BankMed, BLOM Bank, Bank Audi, and Banque Libano-Francaise are also expected to join pending approvals from BDL.

Hanna said that MEVP hired Elie Habib, whose tasks will be bridging between local startups and Silicon Valley in order to help ICT startups with more knowhow and skills.

MEVP has recently made six new investments, increasing its current portfolio companies to 19. The new investments totaled more than $3 million. Fadel Partners, a local intellectual property management software and solutions company, was funded to the tune of one-million-dollar. Potential, a local supplier of learning programs for entrepreneurs and employees, based in the Emirates, was also financed with one million dollars. Element^N/Apstrata an accelerating web and mobile firm received $600,000 in VC funds. Lamsa, an Emirati-Jordanian company that delivers educational e-content for children, has acquired $500,000.

MEVP also made undisclosed investment in Instabug (Egyptian-American) an instant bug reporting tool for mobile apps.

Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Mar 05, 2014
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