Ethos to invest in MENA from Sharia fund; Accel collects cash for Israel bets

 Ethos to invest in MENA from Sharia fund; Accel collects cash for Israel bets

The UK-based Ethos Invest has floated a Sharia-compliant private equity fund that will invest in the Middle East and North Africa while US-based venture capital firm Accel has raised a fresh corpus to make investments in Israel.

The Ethos Financial Services & Technologies Fund aims to raise £1 billion ($1.38 billion). This will be the largest tech-focussed private equity fund that complies with the Islamic law Sharia.

The fund will look to invest in companies across Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, Southeast Asia, North America, the UK and Europe, Ethos said. The new fund will invest in companies that follow the principles of Islamic finance and will also look to tap into the ethical investment market.

The new fund will look to invest in businesses worth $50-200 million that operate in financial services and fintech domains including banking, asset management and payments. It will also invest in life sciences, healthcare and other technology verticals. Ethos said it will make direct bets, co-investments as well as fund-of-funds bets.

Ethos aims to hit the first close for the fund in four months’ time and complete the fundraising within 12 months. The investment firm is also looking at launching more funds for other sectors and foray into digital banking and wealth management.

Accel-Israel

Marquee VC firm Accel has raised $650 million for its seventh early-stage fund to invest in Israel and Europe.

The VC firm has also raised its 15th US early-stage fund of a similar amount and its sixth growth fund of $1.75 billion, taking the total amount it raised across the three vehicles to more than $3 billion.

The Accel London VII fund comes about two years after its predecessor fund that had collected $575 million. The announcement comes six months after Accel announced a $2.3 billion global late-stage fund in December 2020.

Accel didn’t identify the limited partners (LPs) backing the new funds. But it said they include many large foundations, university endowments and research institutions.

Accel’s most recent startup investments in Israel include bets on Tonkean, business operations startup Salto and banking-as-a-service startup Unit.

Aman Malik

The Capital Quest