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
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.