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Five years after co-founding Egypt’s first independent VC, Mokhtar is looking to get his hands dirty and jump into the world of tech entrepreneurship.
Co-founder and Managing Partner of Egypt’s Algebra Ventures, Ziad Mokhtar, has announced that he is to leave the venture capital firm five years after launching it alongside Tarek Assad.
The announcement draws the curtains on a whirlwind period that has seen Mokhtar and Assad back some of the most innovative early-stage tech startups, including Goodsmart, elmenus, La Reina, Filkhedma, Eventtus and more. As the biggest VC fund in Egypt, Algebra Ventures has gained the backing of the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Cisco Investments and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) over the years.
In a reflective piece written for Magnitt, Mokhtar charted the conception and rise of Algebra Ventures, which was born at a time of unrest in Egypt, circa 2014.
“Four years of political upheaval left the economy weakened and people exhausted,” he writes. “The nascent tech investment activity ran out of steam. Local capital dried up. Regional investors favored home markets. Top talent that was starting to join startups was back taking shelter in corporate jobs and opportunities overseas.”
Despite the cards being stacked against them, the duo decided to build Egypt’s first independent VC firm - and the rest is history.
“We could see that tech had taken off, and that, no matter what, this would not be reversed. Tech’s reach had gone beyond the young, the affluent, and the educated. We could see entrepreneurs like Amir Barsoum, Mai Medhat, Nihal Fares, Amir Allam, Ahmed Saad, Mohamed Atteya, and Ameer Sherif, choosing to persevere against all odds. And we could see a $100M transaction in the making that would give Egypt its first sizable venture-backed exit, the first validation of our asset class.”
Though Mokhtar will continue his role with Algebra Ventures’ current portfolio, the Cairo-based VC’s next fund will see Mokhtar take on an advisory role, as he looks to resume his own entrepreneurial ambitions.
“Years of experience and exposure to business school, management consulting, and tech investing didn’t change that nagging urge inside me for testing the limits of innovation and the hunger for taking greater risks; the urge to become a tech entrepreneur again.”
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