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January-March 2021

$60m Middle East tech fund targets 120 startups

A $60m venture capital fund is set to invest in 120 early-stage startups across the Middle East region amid an anticipated tech boom after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the fund’s founders, an ex-Google executive and a Silicon Valley venture capital firm veteran, the Middle East is fast emerging as a key startup ecosystem, having seen several recent takeovers including the $3bn acquisition of ride-hailing app Careem by Uber in 2019 and e-commerce site Souq by Amazon in 2017. Plus Venture Capital, as the fund is known, will have key operations based in Bahrain, with offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. The firm will invest in tech and tech-enabled startups across all sectors, including fintech, healthtech, edutech, logistics, content and e-commerce. According to Plus Venture Capital co-founder Hasan Haider, the global backdrop of the pandemic has allowed the firm to accelerate its plans rapidly. “Covid-19 caused a shift to take place in regional technology adoption,” he told Computer Weekly. “What we thought would ...

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