World Bank Invests $50M In Egypt To Develop Early-Stage Venture Capital Network

Avatar
Written by Peter Pedroncelli

As part of a $200 million project aimed at supporting small businesses and job creation for women and youth in Egypt, the World Bank is investing $50 million to develop an early-stage investment network in the North African country.

The global organization is expecting to invest the funds in privately managed risk capital intermediaries, such as angel funds, accelerators, venture capital funds and investment firms, according to Ventureburn.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 19: Anthony D. Mays

Jamarlin talks to Google engineer Anthony D. Mays about Black cultural optimization, getting bullied in Compton for being a computer geek, and how he landed a job at Google.

The World Bank is a Washington D.C.-based international financial institution that provides loans to countries for capital projects, its website reveals.

Its 189 member countries fund the bank which makes decisions on how to use the funding to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

Egypt’s startup scene has shown signs of growth over the last year, with a number of companies attracting investment.

In September 2018, digital health startup Vezeeta raised the biggest investment round ever disclosed by an Egyptian tech company, at $12 million, according to Techcrunch.

The tech startup ecosystem in Egypt is attracting funding and interest. Photo - Flickr
The tech startup ecosystem in Egypt is attracting funding and interest. Photo – Flickr

Egypt was the fourth most popular African destination for tech funding in 2017, according to the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report released by Disrupt Africa.

In May 2018 two Egyptian startups were selected to take part in the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups accelerator program.

The two startups from Egypt, Harmonica and Shezlong, were among a list of 18 startups from around the globe that were chosen to benefit from the venture capital seed fund and accelerator, reported 500 Startups.

Venture capital network for Egypt

The increase in funding can in part be attributed to the 2016 launch of Algebra Ventures, the $50 million Cairo-based venture capital firm that has invested in a host of early-stage Egyptian technology companies over the last two years, Wamda reports.

The proposed early-stage venture capital network is expected to build on that momentum.

The World Bank says that it aims to leverage the technical capacity and know-how of the Egyptian private sector in investing the $50 million in seed-stage startups to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship, according to VenturesAfrica.

International investors will also be eligible to apply for funding to invest in Egyptian startups, Menabytes reports.