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April 15, 2022 in Middle East and North Africa

Meet the Top 10 Impact Investors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Impact investing is often confused with philanthropy, but is not charity. It is based on the belief that humans can continue to improve outcomes for the people of the world, even in the face of great challenges. Impact investing is driving capital into profitable, scalable companies that provide long-term social or environmental impacts, as well as financial returns.

According to the GIIN, the global impact investing market size was estimated to be valued at $502 billion. While 58% of the impact investment organizations are located in the US & Canada, just 1% are located in the MENA region.

The MENA region is facing real challenges around social and environmental issues, healthcare, waste management, inclusive finance and more. Entrepreneurs in the region are working to tackle these challenges and create value for customers through scalable, for-profit companies. 

Examples of companies that are tackling these challenges are Mother Being, an Egyptian startup providing reproductive and sexual health education/content and access to products and services. Akyas Sanitation, a Jordan-based entity offering an accessible and affordable human waste management solution.

While there’s a lot of space for impact-focused investors to make sustainable change through scalable companies in the region, this article highlights the investors who are already driving change through their investments.

Here’s 10 of the top impact investing organizations in the MENA region:

  1. Silicon Badia: The VC aims to support entrepreneurs solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Silicon Badia works with startup companies in different industries, including healthcare, energy, farming, and more. Their recently launched fund -Badia Impact Squared, offers alternative equity funding to early-stage technology companies in the region. The fund will focus on investments in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, with a principal focus on Jordan and Egypt. Notable past investments of Silicon Badia include SWVL, a mass transport company and a recent MENA’s unicorn.
  1. VentureSouq: Based in UAE, the VC supports early-stage startups mainly across the MENA region, with other global investments.The fund focuses on investing in companies that leverage tech solutions to solve sustainability-related issues; their sectors of focus includes AgTech, FoodTech, EnvironmentalTech, HealthTech, EdTech and Financial Inclusion.
  1. Mindshift Capital: The fund aims to reduce gender inequalities in VC funding by investing in women-led companies in the Middle East, Europe, and the US. The fund has made more than 100 investments so far in Healthtech, Edtech, and other sectors.
  1. Amam Ventures: The Jordanian-based VC works to promote diversity and inclusion in the MENA startup ecosystem. Amam invests inpost-revenue, impact-driven companies that have identified expansion and growth opportunities. The fund offers a ticket size of $250,000 with a potential follow up investment of $2 million. 
  1. Hatch & Boost: H&B is a venture builder that supports early-stage startups from the ideation stage to scale. The VC targets impact-driven startups working on social and environmental solutions in the Middle East.
  1. Impact46: The Saudi VC supports impact-driven startups across the region with ticket sizes ranging from $500K to $7M (Seed, Series A, and beyond). The fund deployed more than $500M in capital to startups from different sectors, and has made 3 exits (including 1 IPO).
  1. Atanova Ventures: Atanova is an impact VC in Turkey that invests in early-stage startups with high impact potential. The firm invests in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, education, energy, and sustainability-related sectors.
  1. VIRIDIS Investment Fund: As part of Fondation Diane, a Lebanese NGO, VIRIDIS provides financial and operational support to green startups. The fund targets the following sectors: healthy food production, transportation, waste management, renewable energy, eco-tourism, and sustainable nature conservation.
  1. Ida Capital: Based in Turkey, the fund focuses on impact-driven startups working on healthtech, financial inclusion, Edtech, Cleantech, Agritech solutions in and around Turkey. Ida Capital offers a ticket size starting from $200K up to $2 million.
  1. Village Capital: Village Capital is the largest organization in the world supporting impact-driven, seed-stage startups. Since 2009, they’ve pioneered a unique model, peer-selected investment, that democratizes the investment process and has been proven to mitigate bias for female founders. In MENA, they have supported  30 MENA-based startups in sectors including financial health, future of work and sustainability.

The list doesn’t stop here. There’s also a number of investors and entrepreneurial support organizations that have invested in impact-driven companies:

  1. Endeavor: Launched in Jordan in 2009, Endeavor is a global leader in the impact-driven entrepreneurship space. The organization supports/invests in startups working in healthcare agriculture, education, healthcare, and other sectors.
  1. Oasis500: Armed with its startup accelerator, the Jordanian fund has an investment ticket size of $30,000 to $100,000 for startups in different industries, including sustainability (education, food, healthcare, etc.). Oasis500 recently announced a partial exit from Jordanian Ed-Tech startup Little Thinking Minds; they were the first to invest in the company back in 2011.
  1. Global Ventures: The VC invests in startups from emerging markets (including the Middle East) that tackles the world’s most pressing issues. The fund is sector agnostic, supporting impactful startups from all verticals.
  1. The Cairo Angels: Egypt’s first formal angel investment network that supports early-stage companies in Egypt and all across the MENA region. The network has invested more than $2.8 million in 28 startups; their portfolio includes companies addressing access to education, future of work, and sustainable energy solutions.
  1. HUB71: Based in Abu Dhabi, the hub offers a variety of services to startups ranging from mentorship to investment. HUB71 is partnering with Microsoft and SoftBank to support portfolio companies. The hub is investing in a wide range of sectors, including education, clean energy, agriculture, and biotechnology.
  1. Tunisian American Enterprise Fund / Egyptian AEF The fund invests in many sustainable solutions, supporting women and youth entrepreneurs in both Tunisia and Egypt. The portfolio includes healthcare, renewable energy, and IT companies, in addition to other sectors.
  1. Insure and Match Capital: Based in Lebanon, IM Capital targets early-stage startups in the region and works to match them with their network of partner investors. The fund’s portfolio includes companies working in biotechnology, nutrition, and other sectors.
  1. Ibtikar Fund: The fund invests in Palastenian startups (at least 51% owned by Palastenian founders - substantially located in Palestine); where it provides support building up startups from ideas into scale.
  1. Access Bridge Ventures: The VC targets early stage startups all across the MENA region with focus on the following sectors: healthcare, financial services, education, enterprise tech & SaaS, ecommerce, and marketplaces.
  1. Beyond Capital: The VC supports early stage startups with high impact potential by offering a wide range of services, including access to their network of mentors, subsidized services, and introductions to angel investors.

Still not sure who is the right investor for you? Narrow your search with Village Capital’s matchmaking platform

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