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500 Startups Veteran Bedy Yang Appointed as New Managing Partner for MENA

Alongside other new personnel, Yang will be leading new funds and initiatives, following the announcement that current managing partners, Hasan Haider and Sharif El-Badawi, are to leave.

Already considered one of the big players in the MENA ecosystem, 500 Startups has announced its intent to dig its heels even deeper into the region, after it was revealed that managing partners, Hasan Haider and Sharif El-Badawi, are to leave to launch a new independent fund for later-stage seed rounds. The prolific early-stage VC is to recruit new members to its MENA team, with the goal of developing new funds and initiatives, a move triggered by MENA’s growing reputation as one of the most dynamic startup ecosystems on the planet.

New members include Bedy Yang, who joins as Managing Partner, Rina Onur, who will be an advisor to the Falcons I fund, and COO of 500 Startups globally, Courtney Powell, who will oversee strategic operations in the region. 

Yang is considered to be part of the very fabric of the VC, having joined 500 Startups in 2010. She has led the team responsible for the innovation arm of 500 Startups, which has trained investors and managers of venture funds and accelerators around the world, including 70 from MENA. Onur, meanwhile, is a founding partner of 500 Startups Istanbul and, under her leadership, she has overseen investments in over 40 companies. Powell’s role will also be key in developing the new funds and initiatives, some of which will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“We know the market well and are excited about investing further in MENA’s phenomenal founders,” Powell said of the move. “MENA’s ecosystem has evolved significantly since we first invested in the region, and our upcoming funds and initiatives will reflect this evolution.”

On the part of the outgoing Haider and El Badawi, the duo will continue to support the Falcons I portfolio for the next 18 months, alongside launching their new fund.

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