Beltone, Citadel to launch $30 mln fund for early-stage startups

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 17 Apr 2024

Beltone Holding, a capital market and financial company, signed a partnership agreement between its subsidiary, Beltone Venture Capital (BVC), and CI Venture Capital, a subsidiary of the UAE-based Citadel International Holdings, an investment management firm headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Beltone announced on Wednesday.



 The partnership aims to establish and manage a $30 million fund dedicated to supporting the growth of fast-growing startups. Over the past few months, the fund has invested in several prominent startups across various sectors and countries, including Bosta, Trella, Qlub, and Ariika.

"We take immense pride in partnering with Beltone Venture Capital to foster the development of high-potential technology companies. Our investment will significantly contribute to the advancement of the early-stage innovation ecosystem in the MENA region”, said Fady Dahlan, managing partner of CI Venture Capital.

Ali Mokhtar, CEO of Beltone Venture Capital, emphasized the fund's alignment with the firm's established strategy since its inception in 2023.

 "This fund is a natural extension of Beltone Venture Capital's ongoing strategy, which centres around acting as partners to founders and value investors. Our goal is to support startups in scaling up and realizing their full potential. We are committed to expanding our regional presence, with a specific focus on high-margin sectors that offer substantial growth potential, driven by technology,” said Mokhtar.

He added that the fund will primarily invest in pre-seed and seed funding rounds while continuing to support top-performing portfolio companies in subsequent funding rounds.

By combining their expertise, networks, and financial resources, the two entities say they aim to provide support to promising startups and contribute to the flourishing startup ecosystem.

Startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) raised $254 million in March across 54 deals, up 186 percent (M-o-M) from February's $88.7 million and 1.17 percent (Y-o-Y), compared to $251 million in March 2023, according to the latest Wamda report.

“March witnessed a surge in investment activity, breaking the downward trend seen in January and February and bringing the first quarter of 2024 totals to $429 million through 129 funding rounds. However, we cannot say that the ecosystem has entirely recovered, as the activity remains 62 percent lower than in the same quarter last year,” said the report.

Egypt comes third, following Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with eight startups raising $7 million, according to Wamda.


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