Oryx Fund Launches with $50 Million to Invest in Early-stage MENA Startups

Oryx Fund Launches with $50 Million to Invest in Early-stage MENA Startups
Source: Oryx Fund

UK-based Hambro Perks, an international investment firm focused on technology investing, has announced the first close of its $50 million Oryx Fund.

The Oryx Fund is a venture fund backing early-stage startups across MENA, with a particular focus on Fintech, Healthtech, and Edtech. The Oryx Fund is based in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and will be overseen by a team of investment professionals. 

The fund has attracted investment from a number of renowned regional and international investors, including Jada Fund of Funds, Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), and Riyadh Valley Company alongside prominent regional families.

Prior to establishing a dedicated fund for MENA investments, the Oryx Fund team made a number of successful investments in the region across multiple industry verticals including FinTech and Logistics. Internationally, Hambro Perks has been behind some well-known venture capital success stories, including what3words, Primary Bid, and Echo. 

The Oryx Fund team will be headed jointly by three General Partners: Dominic Perks, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hambro Perks, Ali Qaiser, Managing Director of Hambro Perks, and Ivo Detelinov who joined the Oryx Fund from Riyad Taqnia Fund (RTF) where he was formerly Senior Portfolio Manager and IC Member at the $150 million MENA focused Riyadh Taqnia VC Fund.

Ali Qaiser, Managing Director of Hambro Perks commented, “By combining our deep international experience of investing in technology startups with our local knowledge, we believe the Oryx Fund offers a unique opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs alike to harness the growth ambitions of the Middle Eastern startup industry. We look forward to working closely with the founder community in the region to help them realise their business ambitions with the help of our expertise.” 

Headquartered in London, and with bases in Hub71, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh, Hambro Perks has vast experience in making global investments in startup and early-stage companies.  Hambro believes that this deep understanding of investing, combined with a highly-skilled local team of international executives will ensure that the Oryx Fund is ideally placed to partner with innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs across MENA, to help them realise their plans to expand and grow across the region and globally. 

Hambro Perks’ existing investments in the region include Sarwa, an online platform that makes investing in global markets simple and affordable for investors in the Middle East. The investment firm took part in the Sarwa’s Series A funding round in January 2020.

Mark Chahwan, Co-Founder and CEO of Sarwa said, “We are excited to be Hambro Perks’ first investment in the MENA region, and are we remain extremely grateful for their support, which has enabled our growth and development. We are delighted to see international VC players enter the regional ecosystem to help growth companies like Sarwa scale and raise money globally”

Dr. Khalid Al-Saleh, the CEO of Riyadh Valley Company added, ”The growth in local VC activities has significantly increased in recent years and Saudi startups were able to attract funding despite the Coronavirus pandemic. Our investment in Oryx Fund is directed to further support the entrepreneurship scene in Saudi Arabia and bridge the gap in Pre-Seed and Seed stage funding to enable the commercialization of innovation in universities and technology hubs across the region.”

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