IFC to invest $15 mln to support start-up ecosystem in Egypt

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 11 Apr 2022

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) — a World Bank Group member — is set to invest $15 million in the second fund from venture capital firm Algebra Ventures with the aim of supporting tech start-ups with access to finance and drive innovation and job creation primarily in Egypt.


Algebra Ventures is Egypt’s leading tech company that provides venture vapital (VC) for start-ups and entrepreneurs operating in the Egyptian market.

The IFC said that this investment will help back the growth of roughly 20 technology start-ups in Egypt and in Africa more broadly.

The investment is part of the IFC’s strategy to support Africa’s start-ups and entrepreneurship ecosystem, and its second investment in Algebra Ventures.

The fund, which has a target size of $90 million, will have a special focus on women-led businesses and those serving rural communities, according to the IFC.

It added that VC investments in Egypt represent 25 percent of VCs existing in all emerging markets, growing more than 10-fold since 2016.

“We are delighted to see the IFC return as a limited partner in our second fund, having invested in our first fund five years ago as well as directly into our portfolio. The IFC has been one of our strongest partners since day one and believed in our vision when there was no venture capital to speak of in Egypt. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership going forward,” said Tarek Assaad — managing partner at Algebra Ventures.

“With its young, tech-savvy population and large market, Egypt’s entrepreneurs are perfectly poised to drive change in the country’s economy with the right support,” said Yasmine El-Hini — the IFC’s country officer and acting country manager for Egypt and Libya.

He added that the IFC, through this investment, is helping to push Egypt’s start-up scene forward and encourage innovation.

In 2016, the IFC invested $10 million to co-anchor Algebra’s inaugural $54 million fund, which also attracted investments from Cisco Investments, the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Algebra Fund I was the first Egypt-dedicated VC fund and has supported 21 tech start-ups and created over 3,500 direct and 28,000 indirect jobs.

Since the beginning of 2022, the IFC has directly invested $5 million in Brimore — an Algebra Ventures portfolio company and social commerce company — and $20 million in the Ezdehar Fund to help smaller businesses access finance.

As of June 2021, the IFC’s global VC investments reached $1.6 billion across over 100 companies and venture capital funds, supporting around 1,700 companies.

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