Paul Kenny founder of group buying Website Cobone Launches a new early stage VC in the Arab world Emerge Ventures
The technology ecosystem in the Arab world is improving with more M&A deals happening, when Yahoo! Acquired Maktoob, the Jordanian founders of Maktoob launched Jabbar group to invest in e-commerce businesses, while they themselves become angle investors.
Like wise cobone and travel website Triperna founder and CEO Paul Kenny become a VC after selling his e-commerce group buying startup Cobone to Tiger Management for a reported $40 million.
Paul Kenny along with Iranian decent Arya Bolurfrushan launched a new early stage VC called Emerge Ventures targeting early stage tech startups in the Arab world.
Emerge Ventures has already made its first three investments in The Impact Hub, an incubator, Lumba, a silicon valley based mobile gaming company, and Elevision, a digital media network..
The launch of the VC happened around 10 days ago and it concede with the close of the firm’s first investment fund, MENA Fund I.
A press release announcing the fund said that Bolurfrushan, is a Harvard-educated international angel investor with a track record of 24 investments and 3 successful exits, CEO of Bolurfrushan International Group and CFO of RAK Petroleum, launched the fund in August this year and succeeded in closing the fund with capital from select well known global venture capital funds, family offices and ultra high net worth individuals.
Speaking from the Entrepreneurship Conference at Harvard Business School earlier this week, Kenny said, “Our focus is to find the best entrepreneurs and back them with smart capital – financial as well as intellectual – becoming true partners with the entrepreneurs to help them innovate, succeed and ultimately grow their business. We have been there and done it ourselves and our experience can help any company scale fast.
The fund’s advisors include Harvard Business School Professors; the global CEO of Rocket Internet and a number of other veteran investors, entrepreneurs and advisors.
MENA Fund I successfully closed in Q4 of 2013 and Emerge Ventures is not seeking any further investments until it launches MENA Fund II.
Paul is an Irish expat living in UAE for many years now, it shows that some expats has staying in the region after they made here and reinvested in its potential,