The fund will look to startups working in and around strategic sub-sectors including PropTech, InsurTech, digital banking and payments infrastructure.
UAE-based venture capital firm, VentureSouq (VSQ), has officially launched its MENA FinTech Fund I, a sector-specific fund focused on investing solely in fintech across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP). The $50 million fund is targeting early-stage fintech and SaaS companies with a focus on strategic sub-sectors including proptech, insurtech, digital banking and payments infrastructure.
The VSQ team come with plenty of pedigree, having previously invested in a string of fintech companies across the world.
“Prior to the MENA fintech fund, we were early investors alongside some of the biggest global VCs in a number of fintech companies, including high-profile ones such as Jeeves, Khatabook, Belvo, FamPay, Vouch, Point, Atomic and Fondeadora,” said VentureSouq General Partner, Suneel Gokhale. “In 2020, we started to reflect on what fintech adoption in the MENA region was going to look like and we dove right in. Based on what we have seen in other emerging markets that we have invested in, we believe it is still early days in terms of the fintech ecosystem in the MENA region and we are really excited about the overall opportunity set.”
The new fund is supported by a slew of key regional players including Jada Fund of Funds and Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds, UAE’s DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform, and Mubadala Investment Company, as well as a handful of multinational conglomerates like OFC, the Middle East investment arm of The Olayan Group.
VentureSouq boasts a diverse portfolio of regional FinTech startups including Saudi-based B2B marketplace Sary, UAE-based Flexxpay, Pakistani digital ledger platform Creditbook, Egypt-based gig economy financial platform Dayra and a myriad of other companies leveraging technology to disrupt the financial sector. Since its founding in 2016, the venture capital firm has invested in more than 200 companies worldwide with operations in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.