MENA focused $33m fund 500 Falcons to invest in over 150 startups

Between 150 to 200 startups from the Middle East and North African (MENA) region are set to benefit from millions of dollars in funding, Hasan Haider, a partner of 500 Falcons — 500 Startups’ $33-million fund targeting the region — has revealed.

Half the fund’s capital will be reserved for follow-on investments, Haider (pictured above, left with fellow fund manager Sharif El-Badawi) told Ventureburn in an email yesterday (26 March).

This follows yesterday’s (26 March) announcement by 500 Falcons that it had raised $33-million in an oversubscribed final closing. In 2017 the fund announced a first closing of $15-million, against a targeted $30-million raise.

Since 2017, 500 Falcons says it has invested in 32 startups from North Africa

In an earlier statement announcing its final close, 500 Falcons said since 2017 it had invested in 105 startups from 16 countries.

Haider told Ventureburn that 32 of the 105 startups are from North Africa. “We’ve invested significantly in Egyptian startups, with that being a key focus market for us. We’ve also done deals in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, with amazing founders building startups that can scale outside of their local markets into broader MENA, European or African markets,” he said.

Although Haider said 500 Falcons invests directly in startups, he explained that the fund also runs initiatives like its MENA Dojo Series A programme and Misk 500 MENA Accelerator programme that combine investment and mentorship.

Said Haider: “Keep an eye out for open applications for those programmes on our social media throughout the year, or reach out to us directly to pitch your startup”.

Featured image, left to right: 500 Falcons partners Hasan Haider and Sharif El-Badawi (Supplied)

Daniel Mpala


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