Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, December 7,
2018—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1 million
in Vezeeta, an Egyptian technology company that operates an online platform
that allows patients to quickly find doctors in three Middle Eastern countries.
The investment is part of IFC’s broader efforts to support entrepreneurship,
expand access to finance for start-ups and help create new markets.
IFC’s equity investment is part of a larger financing package of up to
$12 million in capital that Vezeeta recently raised from several investors.
BECO Capital, a venture fund that IFC invested in earlier this year, is
among the financiers. The package will help Vezeeta—whose database includes
more than 4,300 doctors and specialists—to scale up its operations in
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan while expanding into other countries in
the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. IFC’s support is also
expected to help Vezeeta more than triple the number of patients it supports,
boosting it to 1 million within the next five years.
Announcing the round, Amir Barsoum, Founder
& CEO of Vezeeta stated, “IFC is a global power that will not only
help fuel our growth but also bridge us to an incredible global network.”
Egypt’s population is expected to grow
to 128 million by 2030 from about 97 million today. The country’s spending
on health care, however, has not kept pace with population growth. IFC’s
financing for Vezeeta aims to change that. It is a part of a push by IFC
to support innovation in the disruptive-technology space in emerging markets.
“Start-ups like Vezeeta have the power to
drive innovation in the Middle East and Africa,” said Philippe Le Houérou,
IFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Entrepreneurs across the African continent
have enormous creativity and drive—and they’re using the power of new
technologies to tackle the region’s most formidable social and economic
In recent years, IFC has invested over $100
million in start-ups, venture funds, and accelerators across the MENA region.
In Egypt, IFC has invested in Flat6Labs, an accelerator; and Algebra
Ventures, a venture-capital fund. The
institution’s aim is to create an ecosystem that supports start-ups like
Vezeeta, which have the potential to make life dramatically better for
the people of this region.
In fiscal year 2018, IFC investments
in Egypt hit a record $1.2 billion (including funds mobilized from other
investors, supporting the country's banking, infrastructure, construction,
agribusiness, and manufacturing sectors.
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org