Egypt’s Camel Ventures launches USD 16 million investment vehicle to finance Egypt’s fintech startups.
Camel Ventures, an Egyptian VC firm, has launched a USD 16 million (EGP 500 million) investment vehicle named Camel Ventures for Investment I (CVI). CVI will focus on investing in Egypt’s growing fintech startup ecosystem, according to the company. CVI will provide both equity investments for early-stage startups and venture debt denominated in local currency for later-stage startups.
CVI is backed by a wide range of investors, including banks, financial institutions and family offices in Egypt and the GCC. The Founding and Managing Team – made up of Shehab Marzban, Mona El Sayed, and Mahmoud El-Zohairy – partnered with Al Ahly Capital Holding and dfin Holding to create CVI.
The management team
El Sayed has over 25 years of experience in the banking, non-banking and investments sectors of the financial services industry. Her core expertise includes corporate debt origination and management, balance sheet risk management, corporate restructure, as well as corporate strategy and business growth. Prior to co-founding Camel Ventures, El-Zohairy was the Managing Director of EFG-EV Fintech. He worked on establishing the company from initiation in late 2017 as Egypt’s first fintech focused investment company to growing its portfolio to the largest fintech portfolio in Egypt through a unique hybrid approach of investment that caters for different growth stages of startups in the sector. Marzban was the founder of Digital FinanceHolding (dfin), a government-backed tech-focused venture capital firm. He has been involved with a wide range of fintech and startup-related firms and has been an advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.
Camel Ventures and CVI – 10 investments to date
According to Camel Ventures, CVI has already made ten investments in various sectors across Egypt, including Khazenly, Pharmacy Marts, and klickit. The management team believes in working closely with startups, regulators, investors, peer VCs, and service providers to create sustainable growth and value for its investees and the fintech ecosystem at large.
The firm’s name is taken from the founders’ support for ‘Camels’ – companies which exhibit endurance, reliability, persistence, and strength, while being able to move fast and show patience, all of which are traits associated with the animal, according to the company. Camel Ventures aims to target startups in Africa and Asia, the homes of the camel and, to round out the comparison, camels are associated with exploration and discovery, traits that the VC firm is seeking in startups.
Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures recently raised USD 43 million for a pan-African venture fund. The fund will invest in scalable, tech-enabled, post-revenue startups addressing pressing challenges on the continent.