The fund, which the asset management company says is the largest venture debt fund in the region, is worth US$250 million and focuses on venture debt investments, supporting the growth of tech companies in the GCC that are seeking alternative sources of funding without significantly diluting their shareholding.
The strategy was developed to share the GCC’s regional goals of economic diversification and growth of the new economy, SHUAA said.
Narasha Hannoun, the head of debt at SHUAA, said about the newly launched fund: “We aim to support the growth of businesses, create jobs, lead further developments in innovation and technology, support economic diversification and guide founders towards realizing their vision. Our investors have the opportunity to diversify into a new asset class in technology, with a shorter investment horizon, frequent distributions and attractive financial returns.”
The fund fills an investment gap within the GCC start-up ecosystem, where most investments into growth-stage companies are not enough to see the businesses throughout their growth cycle, leaving them with limited pools of capital and non-equity funding solutions.
To date, the GCC has seen venture capital transactions worth over US$1.7 billion, the majority of which have been angel, seed and Series A investments.
SHUAA itself has deployed US$545 million in private debt transactions and US$3 billion structured across multiple sectors, including technology, over the last 11 years. It recently acquired a majority stake in UAE-based financial comparison platform, Souqalmal.