Middle East Venture Partners (Mevp) would be investing in more than a dozen digital media companies in the UAE in the next three years with an investment of $30 million (Dh110 million). The Dubai-based venture capital firm plans to invest in internet start ups focusing on e-commerce, edutainment and payments. This was first reported in Gulf News
The company made their first exit recently. Shahiya.com, an online food recipe company, was sold to Japanese listed company for more than $13 million. “We had a great return on it. It shows how global companies are looking at Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region as an acquisition target.”
Out of 25 companies it invested in, three are global and others are regional either based in Amman, Beirut or Dubai.
Recently Saudi Arabia’s second-largest telecom operator Mobily has established a joint venture with Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play Tech Center to make investments in seed-stage startups in the Middle East.
According to report released by Wamda, 76% of Surveyed MENA Startups Have Received Funding Below $500,000.
Venture capital is ignoring the Middle East for all the wrong reasons. Ultimately, playing it safe will cause them to yield new opportunities. Mevp has gone in the other direction. In the UAE, the company has announced a second round of funding in Lamsa.com, a kids edutainment company. It also invested in Anghami, a mobile app, which is involved in streaming of Arabic and international music.