Islamic fintech-backer raises US$100 million to invest in MENA tech start-ups

BECO Capital, which has backed Shariah compliant fintech start-ups, has raised US$100 million for its second fund, exceeding its US$80 million initial target, to channel into tech start-ups in the MENA region.

While BECO Fund II, anchored by World Bank’s International Financial Corporation and RIMCO Investment, has secured the support of several Fund I investors, it also welcomed sovereign wealth funds for the first-time including Bahrain’s Al Waha Venture Capital Fund of Funds. Kuwaiti Islamic bank Warba Bank also invested in BECO Fund II, alongside Middle Eastern family offices such as Watar Partners and KAAF Investments.

Founded in 2012, the early-stage venture capital firm – which focuses on start-ups from seed to Series A stage (and then provide follow-up capital to its best-performing portfolio companies) – currently has a portfolio of 22 companies including regional big names such as Careem and Property Finder. Its first fund has yielded four exits to-date, including Uber’s acquisition of Careem in March 2019, and Cisco’s acquisition of Voicea in August 2019, which previously acquired BECO’s portfolio company Wrappup in April last year.

“Success stories like Careem have produced dozens of highly skilled and experienced individuals, who have built businesses to global standards and at immense scale. We believe these individuals will go on to have the equivalent of PayPal in the region, building the next wave of great companies that will serve regional and global markets,” said Dany Farha, the co-founder and managing partner of BECO Capital. “There have been substantial leaps in the technology and innovation landscape in MENA. Companies like SWVL, Wahed and Kitopi, which we have backed, are now exporting business model innovation from MENA to the rest of the world.”

Apart from Wahed Invest, BECO is also invested in another Islamic fintech start-up, Kuwait’s Ajar Online.


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