Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), a venture capital firm backed by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar, has announced the launch of its third Middle East and North Africa fund with a target size of $250m.
The announcement follows Alabbar’s acquisition of a “large stake” in the regional venture capital firm in May and its recent investments in online travel site Wego and Turkish fashion retailer Modacruz.
The Middle East Venture Fund III (MEVFIII) will invest in early-stage and growth-stage tech companies in the MENA and Turkey region.
“A new generation of tech-savvy young digital entrepreneurs is driving the growth of this region’s digital ecosystem. Their innovative ideas can bring transformational changes to the local economies,” said Alabbar.
“MEVP’s new fund will support emerging local tech companies with dedicated capital, specialised expertise, and operational support enabling them to reach their next level of growth.”
MEVP said the target size of the fund would make it one of the few independent operators in the region capable of committing to large investments.
“Despite the market evolution in recent years, there remains a significant lag in the amount of capital available for growth stage venture capital funding,” said MEVP founder and CEO Walid Hanna.
The firm currently has an investment portfolio of 40 ventures, $120m in assets under management and $100m in co-investments, according to the announcement.
Alabbar, who is also chairman of Dubai property company Emaar, has been increasingly active in the regional investment space in recent years.
He is currently preparing to launch $1bn e-commerce site Noon.com in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and has also entered a joint venture with international online luxury fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter worth $138.5m to setup a regional online luxury retail business.