FARES GHANDOUR I PART­NER I WAMDA CAP­I­TAL AB­DU­LAZIZ AL LOUGHANI I MAN­AG­ING PART­NER I FAITH CAPTIAL NAMEK ZU'BI I MAN­AG­ING PART­NER I SIL­I­CON BADIA JASSIM ALHAROON I MAN­AG­ING PART­NER I RAED VEN­TURES

Over the past 10 years, pri­vate sec­tor has taken a lead role in pro­mot­ing the ven­ture cap­i­tal as­set class, as a few phi­lan­thropists and cor­po­rates started writ­ing small tick­ets for promis­ing star­tups in the Arab World. As some of those com­pa­nies ex­ited or

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Entrepreneurship -

There are more funds be­ing raised, cov­er­ing wider scopes both ge­o­graph­i­cally and in terms of sec­tor. Fi­nanc­ing tech star­tups a few years ago meant find­ing Le­van­tine or Egyp­tian en­trepreneurs start­ing their busi­nesses in their home mar­kets, scal­ing to the UAE, with an eye on KSA. That is no longer the case. The UAE is now the pri­mary hub not only for Arab founders but also South Asians, Euro­peans, and oth­ers who eye the MENA, South Asian, and SSA mar­kets. Fur­ther­more, Kuwait has emerged as a core player in the ecosys­tem, and KSA will start churn­ing out its own suc­cess sto­ries as the ecosys­tem ma­tures there. The first wave of com­pa­nies has been in con­sumer tech, mostly e-com­merce, me­dia, mar­ket­places, and on-de­mand ser­vices. To­day, we're look­ing at a fu­ture where Fin­tech is part of the core MENA tech story along­side con­sumer tech. The credit gap is the largest glob­ally on a per-capita ba­sis and fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion is a ma­jor in­fras­truc­tural hin­drance to the health of the pri­vate sec­tor in the re­gion.

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