Middle East | April 8, 2021

Egyptian startup funds put North African tech innovation on the map

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 8 –  A pair of Cairo-based venture capital funds are supporting entrepreneurs tackling transportation, financial services, market inefficiencies and other regional challenges.

Sawari Ventures closed its $71 million first fund with commitments from he European Investment Bank, development finance institutions in the U.K., France and the Netherlands, and regional banks, including Banque du Caire, National Bank of Egypt, and Suez Canal Bank.

Separately, Algebra Ventures launched its second fund, setting a target of $90 million.

Egypt is the fourth largest VC market in Africa, taking in 9% of the continent’s venture dollars. It is also the second largest VC market in the Middle East and North Africa region, or MENA, taking in 24% of the region’s VC funding. 

Seed to growth

Sawari has backed nine companies since 2018, including Almentor, an online education platform for Arabic speakers; logistics and delivery company Elves; and communal ride-hailing app SWVL.

Sawari’s second fund will focus on growth-stage investments in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Its seed-stage fund, Flat6Labs, will allocate 10% of the capital.

Algebra Ventures cuts checks of up to $2 million in early-stage tech companies. The firm backed 21 startups in Egypt and the broader Middle East and North Africa from its $54 million first fund, TechCrunch reports. The portfolio includes ride-hailing and delivery app Halan, which specializes in two- and three-wheel vehicles; and online learning company Little Thinking Minds, which offers programs for refugee children.