Palestine’s Ibtikar Fund hits first close of second early-stage VC fund

 Palestine’s Ibtikar Fund hits first close of second early-stage VC fund

Habib Hazzan (left) and Ambar Amleh, managing general partners of Ibtikar

Palestine-based Ibtikar Fund said it has made the first close on its second venture capital fund at $15 million, raising half the $30 million it has targeted by the final close.

The announcement comes almost eight months after The Capital Quest first reported in May last year that Ibtikar was raising its second fund and had tapped a key limited partner.

At its final close the second fund is slated to be nearly three times as big as Ibtikar’s first fund, and will back Palestinian tech startups. The fund is led by managing partners Habib Hazzan and Ambar Amleh.

Ibtikar Fund 1 made early-stage investments in 26 startups, including Mashvisor, Gamiphy, Kenz, LogesTechs, 360Moms, and Tawazon.

Ibtikar said the second fund will not only back companies based out of Palestine itself, but also those that are promoted by Palestinian-origin entrepreneurs spread across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Ibtikar said in a statement the second fund’s investments will focus on early-stage companies (seed and pre-Series A) building scalable businesses targeting global or MENA markets.

The new fund received the anchor investment from the Bank of Palestine, represented by chairman Hashim Shawa.

Ibtikar said the new fund is also backed by institutional investors including the Dutch Good Growth Fund, managed by Triple Jump BV and PwC, and International Finance Corporation.

These development financial institutions were joined by “numerous private and corporate investors from Palestine and the diaspora, as well as well-known international leaders in the regional and global tech and venture capital” space, Ibtikar said.

“Through Fund 1, we invested in various companies that are growing throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas,” Hazzan said. “Through Fund 2, we will be able to build on this momentum and provide much needed funding for the next wave of Palestinian startups. Our pipeline is strong and we look forward to announcing our first investments soon.”

Youssef Habesh, IFC’s resident representative in the West Bank and Gaza, said that venture capital is critical to helping startups in West Bank and Gaza reach scale and compete both regionally and internationally. “That in turn could have a powerful impact on the local economy. Technology companies have the potential to become engines of job creation, which is key in a market where unemployment, especially for women and youth, is a challenge.”

Aman Malik

error: Content is protected !!
The Capital Quest