Mohamed Alabbar On Supporting Tech Startups With US$250 Million VC Fund With MEVP
Mohamed Alabbar and Rashid Alabbar on lessons they've learnt from supporting MENA's tech ecosystem, and what it needs.
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With a target size of US$250 million, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Mohamed Alabbar have partnered up to launch the Middle East Venture Fund III (MEVFIII) to further infuse support and capital into the ecosystem. The venture capital fund will focus on investing in early-stage and growth stage startups tech in the MENA and Turkey region.
In this #EntMETalks episode, on MEVFIII's unveiling, Mohamed Alabbar, founder and Chairman of Emaar Properties, founder of Noon.com and shareholder of MEVP, and Rashid Alabbar, co-founder of Alabbar Enterprises, founder of Sivvi.com and shareholder of MEVP, share their thoughts on MENA's tech ecosystem. Mohammed Alabbar comments on their approach to learning continuously about the tech sector, and commends the region's dynamic market. On the types of startups he's looking forward to seeing on MEVP's portfolio, he points out, "The whole scene of the social media is a very interesting one. We really need a Middle East player."
As for Rashid Alabbar, an entrepreneur and a VC investor himself, Alabbar echoes his father view's views on constantly learning about the tech space, noting the enterprising startups in the region and foreign players entering the market, benefitting the consumers, and in turn, the ecosystem. His tips to entrepreneurs in MENA? "Find the best people and work with the best people, and motivate them with everything you've got."
Fresh from the partnership and after just four days, a statement announced the launch of e-commerce platform Noon. Backed by Alabbar, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and a number of GCC investors, the $1 billion venture was revealed in November 2016, and was scheduled to go live in January this year. Noon also recently received an undisclosed investment from retail franchise operator Alshaya Group. Featuring a range of electronics, fashion, grocery, and various categories on its website, Noon is available in both English and Arabic. Its statement also said that the platform would be going live "in the coming weeks." Watch this space!
Related: Jabbar Internet Group's Samih Toukan On The Evolution Of The MENA Startup Ecosystem