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Thursday, 2 December 2021

State institutions ❤️ Planet Startup

Egypt’s biggest state-owned banks are planning to launch a new fund to invest in fintech startups before the end of the year, with an eye to reach a USD 85 mn first close, Al Mal reports, citing what it says are sources in the know. Partners in the fund include the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque du Caire (BdC), and Banque Misr. The three banks will finance the first close, with plans to raise a separate USD 85 mn from foreign investors in its second close.

Is this the same as the fund of funds the banks previously announced? The three banks had previously announced that they, along with Suez Canal Bank, plan to launch a EGP 1 bn fund of funds in 4Q2021. The fund plans to invest in SMEs and companies operating in healthcare, education, fintech, agribusiness, renewables, fast-moving consumer goods as well as information and communications technology. It is unclear whether this is separate from the fintech-focused fund NBE, BdC, and Banque Misr are rolling out. Representatives from NBE and BdC did not respond to Enterprise’s request for comment before dispatch time.

MEANWHILE- State earmarks EGP 250 mn for startup investment: A state-owned investment company backed by the National Investment Bank (NIB) is looking to invest EGP 250 mn in 25-30 local startups, Al Borsa reports. Ayady Investment and Development will channel the money through a new government venture capital fund, the newspaper quotes chairman Osama Saleh as having said. Saleh did not talk about the industries in which the fund might be interested.

Consumer finance arm in the works: The company is also planning to set up a fully-electronic consumer finance company, according to Saleh. Ayady — owned by state and quasi-state institutions including the National Investment Bank — is currently awaiting license approvals from the Financial Regulatory Authority to launch the company.

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