The venture capital fund will focus on early-stage startups, both in MENA and its diaspora.
Just a few short weeks after bidding adieu to 500 Startups, veteran investment duo, Hasan Haider and Sharif El-Badawi, have announced the launch of their latest conquest, +VC (Plus Venture Capital). Considered two of the most prolific investors in the region, Haider and El-Badawi’s new $60 million venture capital fund is set to focus on early-stage startups - not just in the MENA region, however, but also in Arab diaspora.
Having completed some 200 transactions together over the years, Haider and El-Badawi bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and nous, much of which is also owed to their individual paths. Haider has spent the better part of the last decade working in venture capital in MENA and Silicon Valley and established one of the very first angel investment groups in the region. On the part of El-Badawi, his 25 years in tech - which included a spell at Google and other Silicon Valley companies - has placed him an adviser and member of a host of different startup and nonprofit boards, while his standing as a serial entrepreneur has also equipped him with a keen eye as an investor.
“We are excited to launch +VC with a differentiated investment thesis for the region,” Haider explains of his and El-Badawi’s ambitious plans. “The aim of the firm is to invest in a broadly diversified portfolio of seed stage startups, targeting 120 investments over the next three years. Our five year legacy of investing in MENA and global startups has helped us build deep personal networks for exceptional deal flow. Our thesis is designed to empower startups in the rapidly growing MENA economy.”
Last month, Haider and El-Badawi left their positions as managing partners at 500 Startups MENA and though they will still continue to support the Falcons I portfolio for the next 18 months, the lure of launching their own independent fund and emparting their own experience on a new generation of startups in what they see as a rapidly innovative MENA ecosystem proved too much.
“With our team having worked and invested in many startups over the years, we can provide the right level of support to the founders that we invest in,” El-Badawi said. “Investment is just the first step, beyond that our founders can expect deep support from experienced practitioners from around the world and access to a unique network of operators, mentors and investors. We are building a thriving community of startups to support each other and increase the adoption of international standards and best practices. We look forward to partnering with extraordinary and innovative entrepreneurs to help build successful businesses and contribute to a vibrant regional economy.”
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