Climate Resilience Fund launches to invest in AgriTech and nature-positive MENA ventures

Climate Resilience Fund launches to invest in AgriTech and nature-positive MENA ventures

Climate Resilience Fund is a pre-seed fund supporting MENA startups that present sustainable agricultural and “nature-positive” solutions to the climate crisis. The fund’s general partners are Hossam Allam in Cairo and Sherief Kesseba in Copenhagen.

“We have two lenses: technology-enabled, and nature-enabled. The tech lens looks at opportunities such as precision farming, B2B farming marketplaces, and robotics: opportunities to maintain or grow output despite climate shocks. The nature-enabled lens looks for ventures that unlock nature’s own problem-solving genius; this includes farming in seawater, carbon capture through micro-biology, insect proteins, and much more,” Hossam Allam, Founder of Cairo Angels and Climate Resilience Fund General Partner, talks to us about the solutions that the fund is looking to invest in.

Allam and Kesseba plan to raise $25 million from investors and family businesses over the first two years of the fund. The fund will primarily focus on Africa and the Middle East with 50% deployment in Egypt, with plans to expand to investing in pan-African solutions and startups.

The fund also has a “from or for attitude to brilliant ideas” if a Danish startup is looking to transform an aspect of Africa’s food system, the fund’s team will consider that mission.

“MENA’s climate startup ecosystem reminds me of the tech ecosystem in 2010 when I started angel investing in this region. Technically competent founders who just needed exposure to building companies. Today we’re seeing technically brilliant food and Agri innovators. But it will take much less time to develop this ecosystem, the enabling environment is totally different today. You have only to look into Africa or across to India to see how VCs are falling over themselves there for the best climate deals, the way ours do for the best Fintech ones,” Allam said in a conversation with us.

The fund comes in line with Egypt’s preparation to host COP27 in less than 40 days. The UNDP, EU, the Embassy of Denmark, the Embassy of Switzerland, and the African Climate Foundation have recently signed a $6.2 million project to support Egypt in hosting COP27 this November.

“Climate entrepreneurship in this region is primarily focused on decarbonizing through energy innovation, and that is also an important space. But nature-positive solutions deliver just as much carbon offset, for a fraction of the cost, and have 500 million years of track record. The limiting factor to scaling these solutions is entirely man-made: there is no commonly agreed ‘nature accounting’ to value the effort of more sustainable land use. COP27 and 28 should make substantial progress in this area, after which we will see the carbon markets transform and mature,” added.

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