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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Sawari Ventures to make new North Africa investments this year

Cairo-based venture capital firm Sawari Ventures plans to make new investments in Tunisia or Morocco this year, a source at Sawari told Enterprise, without specifying an amount or an exact date. The source spoke on condition of anonymity. Sawari has earmarked some EGP 250 mn from its EGP 1 bn investment platform for new startups, the source said, some of which will presumably go towards the planned investments in Tunisia / Morocco. The Sawari-managed platform is made up of its Egypt-focused tech fund, which invests in parallel with a seperate Netherlands-based fund under the same platform.

The platform has so far made investments worth EGP 400 mn in a total of 15 Egyptian and foreign companies, and has earmarked EGP 350 mn for follow-on investments. The companies cover the fields of mass transportation, fintech, as well as micro businesses, the source said, including eight local startups. Locally, Sawari has invested in online fashion marketplace Brantu, e-commerce platform ExpandCart, microelectronics company Si-Ware Systems, and AI startup Elves, among others.

Sawari closed last April its Egypt-focused tech fund, raising USD 28 mn (EGP 440 mn) from an array of local and regional investors. The Netherlands-based fund earlier separately raised commitments of USD 42 mn from the European Investment Bank, the UK’s CDC, the French Development Agency’s private sector financing arm Proparco, the Dutch Good Growth Fund and Sango Capital, brining the platform’s combined commitments to USD 70 mn (EGP 1.1 bn).

OTHER STARTUP NEWS- Egyptian logistics startup Bosta plans to raise mns of USD in a new funding round to close in mid-2022, with 25 new investors expressing interest, CEO and co-founder Mohamed Ezzat said, according to Al Arabiya. By the end of 2022, the company aims to have reached a cumulative total of 15 mn parcel deliveries in Egypt compared to 1.7 mn in 2020, and plans to increase its local customer base to 20k from the current 3k. On average the company currently delivers 12k parcels per day, Ezzat said.

Bosta plans to expand to as many as seven countries in the coming five years, Ezzat told Reuters, with a UAE and Saudi Arabia expansion slated for 2021. The company plans to expand further into Kuwait and other African countries within five years. Bosta has raised some USD 9.2 mn including a USD seven-figure investment in a series A round in February 2020 and another USD 6.7 mn investment led by Jordan-based VC fund Silicon Badia to complete the series earlier this month.

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