Dubai-Based Global Ventures Becomes First MENA Fund In Draper Venture Network's DVN Beta Program

The DVN Beta program supports newly established, high potential VC funds across the globe.

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By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Dubai-based Global Ventures has been selected as a member of Draper Venture Network's DVN Beta program, which makes it the first fund from the MENA region to become a part of the global network. Led by Noor Sweid and Basil Moftah, Global Ventures is known in the region for having recently made investments in startups like Lunch:ON, HolidayME, Kitopi, ArrowLabs, CDP, and others.

Draper Venture Network (DVN), formed by renowned investor Tim Draper in 1990, consists of over 20 VC funds from around the world that collectively manage US$2 billion in assets. The collective operates in more than 60 cities around the world, with more than 800 companies being funded by it over the years. The DVN Beta Program is aimed at enabling independent venture capital firms from around the world to "to cooperate on investment diligence, market intelligence, investor relationships, and beyond."

In a statement, Draper said, "We are thrilled to bring in Global Ventures as a member of the DVN Beta program, another testament to our renewed commitment to the Middle East. We believe Global Ventures' governance is world-class, and their growth strategy fits the needs of the booming MENA venture market. We look forward to working closely with the team and their portfolio companies going forward."

Related: Three Takeaways On Venture Capital From HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed At Bloomberg's Venture Forward

In an interview with Entrepreneur Middle East,Sweid, General Partner at Global Ventures, spoke about the benefits entrepreneurs and startups under her fund's portfolio stand to gain from this new alliance with DVN. "The DVN Beta program supports newly established, high potential VC funds across the globe," she explained. "As part of this collaboration, we will gain access to some of the world's best investors and infrastructure, which ultimately will generate the highest valuation for our portfolio founders, enabling them to scale their companies in regional as well as international markets, and charter a path for success. The access to international, similar-minded VCs, as well as global markets, is fundamental to regional founders' growth."

Noor Sweid, General Partner, Global Ventures.

Sweid also noted that her fund's selection into the DVN Beta program to be a testament to the development of the entrepreneurial space in the MENA region as well. "The growth in the startup ecosystem in the region is phenomenal, and yet, we are just at the beginning of an incredible trajectory, where industries are effectively embracing technological innovation to enable new sub-segments to enter the market- and thrive," Sweid said. "Having our fund as part of the DVN program illustrates the momentum and successes that our underlying portfolio companies and MENA-based founders are achieving, and the growth in the overall ecosystem and opportunities alongside them. The Draper network has funds all over the world participating in growing technology companies globally, and yet, there has not, until now, been representation in the region. The significance is that now the region is part of a larger global tech-network that will enable portfolio companies to grow, and that the region is considered a player on a global landscape."

Being a part of the DVN Beta program is only going to bolster Global Ventures' current standing and its future prospects in the MENA region, Sweid added. "The fund has already achieved a 38% net asset value (NAV) increase (as audited by Deloitte) in its first year of operations, so we are already on strong footing," she said. "That said, we are always focused on growing our network, both for our entrepreneurs and our fund. We continue to see a strong pipeline of companies in the B2B space and are taking more meetings with growth stage companies than ever before. We also continue to make introductions for our portfolio companies to business opportunities in Europe, Asia and the USA. Finally, we are hoping to build on the Draper network to bring more international investors to the region– especially that there are so many new global funds that have not yet visited or evaluated opportunities here."

Related: Berlin-Headquartered Social Media Platform Jodel Enters The MENA Region

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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