Abu Dhabi-based venture capital firm Shorooq Partners has launched a venture debt fund that will back startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Shorooq said it launched the Nahda Fund I in partnership with South Korean private equity firm IMM Investment Global.
The announcement comes three months after The Capital Quest had first reported in July that Shorooq was planning to roll out a venture debt fund and that it might tie up with IMM for the purpose. IMM, which manages assets worth $5.4 billion, could also bring other South Korean limited partners on board for the fund.
Shorooq didn’t disclose the size of the debt fund, which will also invest in Pakistan. However, The Capital Quest had previously reported that it could initially be a $25 million vehicle, but may be expanded next year depending on the response from startups and potential investors.
The VC firm said it has already committed a majority of its capital in companies such as agri-tech startup Pure Harvest. Its portfolio also includes robo-advisory platform Sarwa, digital freight company TruKKer, Lean, Capiter and Retailo.
“This is IMM’s first foray into the Middle East and we are proud to have partnered with Shorooq to provide our investor base the chance to connect with top-tier opportunities outside of Korea,” said Youngjoon Lee, chief executive of IMM Investment.
Shorooq Partners was founded in 2016 by Mahmoud Adi, Shane Shin and Kunal Savjani. The early-stage VC firm supports technology-focused startups in the MENA region. It has a portfolio of more than 25 startups.
In June this year, Shorooq acquired Autarky Capital, the financial services arm of Autarky Advisors. Bahrain-based Autarky Advisors describes itself as a venture builder and investment and advisory company.
The same month, Shorooq had roped in the Korean Venture Investment Company (KVIC) as a limited partner to its Bedaya fund. KVIC committed $1.5 million to the vehicle, The Capital Quest reported previously.
The Bedaya fund’s other LPs include the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Saudi Arabia’s Jada Fund of Funds, Saudi Venture Capital Company, Bahrain’s Al Waha Venture Capital Fund of Funds, Jordan’s Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund, and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds Mubadala and ADQ.