RAMALLAH, Monday, January 24, 2022 (WAFA) –Ibtikar Fund, a disruptive venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies founded by Palestinian entrepreneurs, announced today the first closing of its second fund, Ibtikar Fund II CV, which will build on the momentum and success of its first fund, according to a press release.
The first closing was at $15 million out of a target fund size of $30 million, nearly three times the size of Fund 1, it said.
Ibtikar's second fund will continue to invest in Palestinian tech startups based in Palestine, but will also be able to invest in Palestinian founders throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Investments will focus in early-stage companies (seed and pre-Series A) building scalable businesses targeting global or MENA markets.
The fund is led by Managing Partners Habib Hazzan and Ambar Amleh. The fund anchor investment is from the Bank of Palestine, represented by their Chairman, Hashim Shawa. This first closing also includes institutional investors including the Dutch Good Growth Fund, managed by Triple Jump BV and PwC, and International Finance Corporation, who are 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 scenes.
Ibtikar Fund 1 made early-stage investments in 26 startups, including Mashvisor, Gamiphy, Kenz, LogesTechs, 360Moms, and Tawazon.
As Managing Partner, Habib Hazzan explained: "Through Fund 1, we invested in various companies that are growing throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. We are excited that 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."
"We are very proud that investors from Fund 1 have strongly invested in Fund 2-- most of them have increased their investment amount, doubling down not only in our team, but also in the potential of Palestinian startups. We also look forward to continuing to fundraise and welcoming new investors in the coming year to reach our target of $30 million," said Ambar Amleh, Managing Partner.
"Venture capital is critical to helping startups in West Bank and Gaza reach scale and compete both regionally and internationally," said Youssef Habesh, IFC's resident representative in the West Bank and Gaza. "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."