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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Beware the clueless tourist VC + Melbourne citizens come out of lockdown

Beware the clueless tourist VC: The soaring interest in Egyptian startups from foreign VCs may seem opportune. But without the local knowhow needed, these type of investors may end up hurting the startups they invest in, Mohamed Aboulnaga, co-founder and CEO of Egypt-based fintech Klivvr and co-founder of Halan (now MNT-Halan) writes in an oped for Wamda. Global VCs who wish to tap into the local market will opt for one of two routes. The smart approach: which he says entails appointing local partners or local boards and have them scout for companies to invest in — similar to how a tourist would bring a local along to ensure they don’t get lost or fall victim to tourist traps. Then there are those VCs that invest somewhat blindly, without taking the advice of locals who know the market more intimately, which then results in them paying premiums — just like a clueless tourist would.

The clueless tourist approach bears “dangerous” consequences to both the VC and the startup, Aboulnaga warns. “It inflates the valuation of certain startups and puts a lot of pressure on the founder and the management team,” he says, explaining that they will now feel like they have to perform more to keep up with the stamped valuation. As for the VC, it will have the wrong impression of the local market and its prices, and if their investment does not perform they will not come back.

His oped comes as Egyptian startups have been raising larger sums in funding rounds from foreign VCs. Most recently, digital ins. startup Amenli raised USD 2.3 mn in a seed round co-led by P1 Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Anim Fund, and also included Costanoa Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Cliff Angels and other angel investors. It followed Odiggo securing USD 2.2 mn in seed finance as part of the Y Combinator 2021 summer batch. 500 Startups, Plug and Play Ventures, and a number of regional VCs including Seedra Ventures and LoftyInc Capital joined Y Combinator in the round. And Aboulnaga’s very own MNT-Halan closed what we believe is the largest fintech round ever to take place in MENA, raising c. USD 120 mn from a group of investors that includes financial services-focused PE house Apis, the UK’s Development Partners International (DPI) and Lorax Capital Partners.

SOME COVID STORIES- After spending a collective 262 days stuck at home due to covid lockdowns, Melbourne citizens will officially be allowed to roam starting Friday, 22 October, after Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the Australian state of Victoria will start opening up. This comes after 90% of the state’s citizens got their first jab and 70% are expected to have received both jabs by the end of the week. And although the state is reopening and the high vaccination rate, precautionary measures will still be enforced with citizens having to wear their masks at all times and a strict capacity limit set on all public venues. These restrictions are expected to ease once 80% of the state’s citizens are fully vaccinated. Students will also be allowed to go back to classrooms.

FDA panel recommends J&J booster shots: A US FDA advisory committee recommended the use of Johnson & Johnson boosters on Friday, paving the way for 15 mn Americans to receive a second dose of the shot as early as this week, pending FDA approval.

It was hardly a glowing endorsement for the company’s jab: Panel members said that having recently approved third jabs of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots, they were obliged to authorize Johnson & Johnson boosters — especially given the one-shot vaccine’s lower efficacy. They added that recipients of a first Johnson & Johnson shot might be better off getting Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster instead, something an FDA official said was being considered.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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