Ibtikar Fund Announces a Capital Increase

ArabNet Team, Jul 05 2017

Ibtikar Fund, Palestine’s early stage venture capital fund, has announced a $2.5M capital increase, welcoming the International Finance Corporation, the Dutch Good Growth Fund, and Reach Holding as investors.

With this closing, Ibtikar (“Innovation” in Arabic) increases its capital to $10.45M, providing it with the ability to invest in more Palestinian startups over the next three years.

This marks the first investment in Palestinian venture capital by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), active worldwide investors. For DGGF, this is the first venture capital investment in MENA, the second for the IFC under its new Startup Catalyst program.

"Our investment in Ibtikar is well aligned with our creating markets campaign in the entrepreneurship space, which we started few years ago," said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa. "The lack of funding for start-ups in MENA in general, and the Palestinian Territories in particular, is a major challenge. This investment will help Ibtikar continue its very impressive journey in financing and supporting startups that are in need of capital."

“These new investments are a validation of our work over the last two years, and a vote of confidence in our management,” said Habib Hazzan, Managing General Partner of Ibtikar, “we are glad that the IFC, DGGF and Reach Holding agree with our leading current investors in the potential of Palestinian startups and welcome them to our fund.”

Ibtikar Fund is managed by Mr. Habib Hazzan and Mrs. Ambar Amleh and a Board chaired by Mr. Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of the Bank of Palestine (the fund’s anchor investor), and that includes Mr. Zahi Khouri, Chairman and CEO of the National Beverage Company, and Mr. Marcelo Diaz Bowen.

Launched in May 2016, Ibtikar has made 14 investments in Palestinian startups, a growing portfolio that has already been attractive to regional and global investors.

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