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Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Algebra Ventures nets USD 100 mn first close on second fund

Venture capital firm Algebra Ventures’ second fund has reached a USD 100 mn first close, surpassing the USD 90 mn initially targeted, according to a company statement (pdf). The VC outfit plans to invest USD 15 mn in startups by the end of this year and to reach final close on the fund by the end of 1Q 2023, the statement reads.

Who’s in for the first close? The Egypt-dedicated fund was backed by international limited partners including the IFC, EBRD, and EAEF (all of them LPs in Alegbra’s first fund) as well as FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices, which were all first time investors in Algebra.

Wait, Enterprise — you told us that there’s a slowdown in fundraising for venture and that VCs are going to have a tough year. Yep. They will. The exception: Folks like the gang at Algebra who are targeting LPs that include development finance institutions and Gulf family offices. DFIs, particularly those in Europe, have a clear mandate to invest in our part of the world — that hasn’t changed despite turmoil on the continent and in the UK. And the Gulf has an additional USD 1.3 tn in excess liquidity sloshing around over the next four years thanks to high oil prices, meaning they’re going to be allocating to a wide range of assets for the foreseeable future.

So where’s Algebra investing? Algebra’s managing partners told TechCrunch that they hope to back 31 startups pursuing early-stage investment opportunities in sectors like fintech, agritech, edutech, logistics, e-commerce and healthcare. Ticket sizes for investments will range between USD 500k to USD 3 mn, Managing Partner Karim Hussein told us last year. The second fund has already backed Sylndr, a used-car retailer that raised USD 12.6 mn in a pre-seed round in May, as well as three other startups. While the fund is focused on Egypt, it will also explore investment opportunities in East and West Africa.

Refresher: Founded in 2016, Algebra backed some 21 startups with its inaugural USD 54 mn fund as of last year, including bold-faced names such as Halan, Brimore, Trella, Khazna, Yodawy, Mozare3 and Shift EV. The VC firm’s six most established companies were valued at more than USD 350 mn in 2021.

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