Egyptian startups to benefit from Sawari Ventures’ $150 million fund

Sawari Ventures, a leading venture capital firm based in Cairo, has announced its plans to launch a new fund worth $150 million to invest in Egyptian startups. The fund will target several sectors that are vital for the country’s economic and social development, such as fintech, edtech, healthtech, cleantech, and deeptech. The fund will also support the growth and expansion of the Egyptian startup ecosystem, which has witnessed a remarkable increase in activity and innovation in recent years.

Sawari Ventures was founded in 2010 by Hany Al Sanbati, Ahmed El Alfi, and Wael Amin, with the vision to create a platform that empowers entrepreneurs and innovators in North Africa and beyond. The firm has invested in more than 500 startups, including 19 early and growth-stage companies in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Some of the notable startups in its portfolio include:

  • Swvl, a mass transit app that connects commuters with private buses and vans, and operates in several countries across Africa and Asia.
  • Instabug, a software development kit that enables app developers to collect feedback and bug reports from users, and serves more than 25,000 clients worldwide.
  • Si-Ware Systems, a semiconductor company that develops and manufactures MEMS-based sensors and systems for various applications, such as spectroscopy, inertial sensing, and timing.
  • MoneyFellows, a fintech platform that digitizes the traditional savings and lending circles known as ROSCAs, and provides access to financial services for millions of unbanked and underbanked Egyptians.

Sawari Ventures has also established several initiatives and partnerships to foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region, such as:

  • Flat6Labs, a regional network of startup accelerators and seed funds that provides mentorship, training, and funding for early-stage startups in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Lebanon.
  • TATP, a technical assistance and training program that supports the development of the VC industry in Egypt, and provides capacity building, networking, and policy advocacy for VC funds, angel investors, and startups.
  • AUC Venture Lab, a university-based startup accelerator and incubator that leverages the resources and expertise of the American University in Cairo, and supports startups in various sectors, such as fintech, edtech, healthtech, and e-commerce.

The new fund: A boost for the Egyptian startup scene

The new fund, which is expected to launch soon, will aim to invest around $150 million in Egyptian startups, with a focus on sustainable growth in sectors that have a high impact on the economy and society. According to Al Sanbati, the fund will target startups in the following domains:

  • Fintech, which accounts for 35% of the firm’s portfolio, and aims to digitize the Egyptian economy and improve financial inclusion and literacy for the masses.
  • Edtech, which addresses the challenges and opportunities in the education sector, and offers innovative solutions for learning, teaching, and assessment.
  • Healthtech, which leverages technology to enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare services, and tackles the pressing issues of public health and wellness.
  • Cleantech, which promotes environmental sustainability and green solutions, and helps reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of various industries and sectors.
  • Deeptech, which encompasses cutting-edge technologies and scientific discoveries, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

The fund will also aim to support the growth and expansion of the Egyptian startup ecosystem, which has witnessed a remarkable increase in activity and innovation in recent years. According to Al Sanbati, the fund will help create more jobs, generate more revenues, and attract more investments for the Egyptian startups, which have the potential to raise $350 million to $500 million in the next five years. The fund will also help position Egypt as a leading investment hub in Africa and the region, and showcase the talent and potential of the Egyptian entrepreneurs and innovators.

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