Lebanon Businessnews News

Leap Ventures fund to be launched in April
New growth fund targets
established enterprises
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The $75 million ‘Leap Ventures’ fund will be launched in April under the Central Bank’s (BDL) Circular 331.

The fund was founded by four venture capitalists and angel investors: Henri Asseily, entrepreneur, angel investor and Co-founder of Shopzilla, one of the largest e-commerce websites, Hala Fadel, Chairwoman of MIT Enterprise Forum of the pan-Arab region, Hervé Cuviliez, Co-founder of Diwanee, and Noor Sweid, angel investor and Independent board director of Endeavor UAE. They will also handle the fund’s management.

Leap Ventures is a growth fund that finances established enterprises and companies in their growth phase. According to Asseily, few investors had the courage to growth-fund a company because the required investment at this stage is greater.

“We will be focusing on companies that are seeking to expand locally, regionally and internationally,” Asseily said.

Most of the fund’s budget was secured by Lebanese banks, the rest from private investors. The fund is equity-based and the percentage of the shares will not exceed 35 percent of the financed company’s size. “Share percentage depends on the required funding, but in general no venture capital is eligible for over 40 percent of the company,” Asseily said.

Asseily said the investment size will depend on the development stage of the company, its needs and plans. Investments would hover between $3 million and $7 million and could reach over $10 million, in some cases. “We are expecting to fund a dozen companies,” he said.

Leap Ventures is also collaborating with Berytech. “We will be complementing each other to offer a comprehensive ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Startups acquire the support of Berytech and when they grow and seek wider development, we will be able to help them,” he said.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Mar 10, 2015
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