Lebanon Businessnews News

Berytech Fund I exits
three companies for $800,000
PayPlug, Active Identity,

and Cook & Eat Lebanese

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Berytech Fund I has exited three of its portfolio companies, PayPlug, Active Identity, and Cook & Eat Lebanese, at a combined price of nearly $800,000.

The venture capital fund said it divested itself from PayPlug at three times the initial investment. The stake was sold to PayPlug’s existing shareholders who were seeking to increase their share in the company. PayPlug is a mobile payment company created in 2012 by two Harvard Business School graduates, Camille Tyan and Antoine Grimaud. The company’s fintech solution mainly targets small- and medium-size merchants.

The fund also sold its stake in Active Identity to the company’s own founders at twice the initial investment in a management buy-out transaction. Active Identity is a provider of radio-frequency identification (RFID) services. It designs and develops scalable and customized RFID infrastructure solutions. ‘The Envoy’, the company’s RFID engine, is at the core of many RFID deployments worldwide.

Berytech Fund I said that it exited Cook & Eat Lebanese at cost. Cook & Eat is an online food recipe platform that offers users access to content from Middle East cuisine through recipes that are uploaded by chefs and other users.

Exits could be through mergers, acquisitions, management buyouts, or commercial sales to other investors, said Sami Beydoun, the fund’s Managing Partner. A new option will be available for exits once the planned electronic trading platform is established, he said.

Berytech Fund I also said it will pay a 14.4 percent dividend.

The fund, which has a capital of six million dollars, still has 12 companies in its portfolio. These include Instabeat, CardioDiagnostics, Dermandar, Element^n/ Scriptr, YallaPlay, BSynchro, and DomControls. Since its launch in 2008, the fund focuses its investment on local technology startups with proven commercial viability. After helping the startups to grow, it then exits within five to six years.

Investment tickets range between $100,000 and $1.2 million. Berytech Fund I is approaching the end of its investment cycle eight years after its formation. The fund’s life span has been expanded from seven to nine years, Beydoun said.

Berytech, the country’s first incubator, operates two other funds, Berytech Fund II with a capital of $51.5 million, and Insure and Match Capital (IM Capital), with a capital of $15 million.

Beydoun said that Berytech plans to create a third fund when 70 percent of the capital of Berytech Fund II is invested.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Oct 25, 2016
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