Cairo, Egypt, May 21, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $10 million in a venture
capital fund that supports promising technology companies, part of an effort
to drive job creation across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The investment will help Wamda Capital
advise entrepreneurs and provide seed funding to tech firms in Egypt, Lebanon,
Jordan, and other countries. Such support is considered vital in a region
where smaller businesses often struggle to tap into expertise and secure
the financing they need to grow.
"The tech sector is being fuelled
by rising demand and has the potential to drive development and innovation
across the region," said Fadi Ghandour, founder of Wamda Capital.
“We believe MENA could produce the next Silicon Valley if entrepreneurs
are given the right support to help them grow and expand."
Wamda Capital, which is aiming to raise
up to $75 million, will provide long-term funding for early-stage ICT firms
that have the potential to grow quickly. It aims to invest in five to seven
companies a year.
"Tech start-ups are on the rise
in MENA," said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President for Global
Services. “We see an increasing trend in this area, which we believe will
continue to develop. Supporting these start-ups and encouraging others
to start their own businesses will drive growth and help create much-needed
jobs for the region’s unemployed youth.”
The investment is part of a wider effort
by IFC to foster economic growth in MENA. During 2014, IFC committed $2.2
billion to the region, helping to reduce bureaucracy, support fragile and
conflict-affected states, combat climate change, bolster infrastructure,
and promote intra-regional investment.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22
billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle
the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit