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Monday, 1 February 2021

Big plans for Egypt’s fintech space

Digital Finance Holding (DFin) has launched a new platform that will invest in fintech startups, it said in a statement (pdf). The company, which just appeared on the scene, will offer crowdfunding services to budding entrepreneurs through portfolio company Shekra. It is also launching robo-advisory and digital wealth management through Optofolio.

The investment thesis: The company plans to make equity investments in fintech players that would give it minority shares in these startups, in addition to setting up subsidiaries such as Optofolio to become “clear majority shareholders” in other fintech companies, founder and CEO Shehab Marzban (LinkedIn) told us. DFin is regulated by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

DFin plans to launch Camel Ventures — a venture capital fund billing itself as the first “venture debt fund in the region,” in 2H2021. The firm is now fundraising for the venture, Marzban told us, noting that investor appetite will ultimately determine the fund’s size.

Partners: Marzban is joined by Mohammed El Beltagy (LinkedIn) as well as Cayesh co-founders Adel Boseli (LinkedIn) and Mahmoud Hassan (LinkedIn). Marzban previously led government-backed VC Egypt Ventures, until resigning last summer to run a VC platform for Beltone Financial. He left Beltone in September to work on DFin, he told us.

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