Breaking: Bayt.com Launched Venture Capital Arm: Intilaq
Bayt.com the largest job portal in the Arab world has just launched Intilaq an Arabic word which means “Launch” in English, which is an initiative that aims to fund and support aspiring entrepreneur technologists in early-stage technology startups. It is the first initiative of its type that comes from Arabian based Internet company. That you hope others in the region can follow.
The initiative is not a business plan competition and not an incubation, but something in between a startup accelerator more or like: the team behind Intilaq will evaluate ideas and the people behind it on an on-going bases fund them in exchange for equity in the startup. Depending on how much progress the team has made, this could come at a seed round or at a follow-up round. And if the startup needs a location, Intilaq can provide, since Bayt.com has trade licenses and offices in 11 cities across the MENA region. But the main investment is the money and mentorship, as Dan Stuart Head of Strategic Initiatives at Bayt.com Managing Partner of Intilaq, who handles the day-to-day operations.
Intilaq is interested in ideas from two distinct groups of people:
1. Technologists – people with technical talent and a great innovative idea looking to start a company; and
2. Strategists – people with great business aptitude (e.g., operations, sales, marketing, business development, finance) who want to work with Technologists to build a great company.
I asked Stuart yesterday how much money Bayt.com is putting in this fund?
we are a cash-healthy business with very successful senior managers/owners. We are making no formal commitment to a given amount. It’s not a fund per se. We will play it slow to start, but I can certainly see that if things work as we hope, we’ll be ready to make a firm and regular commitment of a yearly investment size. We want this to be successful for ourselves and for the region. I am managing this day-to-day and vetting ideas. I am hoping to be very pleasantly surprised and really help make some great things happen.
The initiative targets entrepreneurs from the Arab region or Internationals who wants to target the region. Stuart said:
Bayt.com was founded by-and-for the region. It’s no secret that I’m not from the region, but I am personally invested here in time, money (and my wife). We hope to help the regional tech industry grow and mature – in our own small way. If a model emerges where a global or regional business emerges in another region but it serves this region or has a regional tie then that is great. Jordan, for example, has great techies (we have the majority of our tech team in Jordan) and new businesses – from even outside the region – would do well to leverage that potential.
To be considered by Intilaq you do not have to have a business plan and not just have a great idea, but with an evidence that you can have great ideas, similar to what startup accelerator funds and competitions in USA like Launch Box Digital ask for, and you can submit your idea and application here.