Middle East Venture Partners Raised The Largest Venture Capital Fund in Lebanon at $ 50 Million “IMPACT Fund”
Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) is one of the Arab world most active Vcs, it announced yesterday that it had raised the largest venture capital fund in Lebanon at $50 million, the fund name is the IMPACT Fund.
MEVP said the fund complies with Banque du Liban’s (BDL) Intermediate Circular 331. The Circular was created by BDL specifically to support the growth of Lebanon’s Knowledge Economy, a sector that is expected to materially improve High Tech employment in Lebanon.
The investment subsidy program outlined in the Intermediate Circular 331 is available only to Lebanese Banks; the program encourages Lebanese Banks to invest early stage equity capital in Lebanon’s Knowledge Economy by providing the Banks with an upfront 75% equity capital subsidy over an investment horizon of 7 years.
The IMPACT Fund is co-sponsored by BLOM Invest Bank and MedSecurities Investment, and has already received, for its first closing, investment commitments from most of Lebanon’s leading Banks including BLOM Invest Bank, BankMed, Bank Audi, Fransabank, Credit Libanais Investment Bank and Al-Mawarid Bank. The signing ceremony took place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut, and was attended by representatives of BDL, senior representatives from every major Bank in Lebanon, and both the Chairman and CEO of MEVP. MEVP expects 6 other Banks to join the second closing of the IMPACT Fund, including Banque Libano-Francaise, Bank of Beirut, BBAC, LGB Bank, First National Bank, BML and others for a total fund size of $55M.
MEVP launched the IMPACT Fund on December 19, 2013 and the Fund received on July 11, 2014 BDL’s approval as compliant with Intermediate Circular 331. The Fund will invest $500 thousands to $5 million in next-generation knowledge-based Lebanese companies that focus on the ICT sector (Information Communication Technology sector) and other creative intellectual property driven sectors. The IMPACT Fund is designed to fund knowledge-based Lebanese companies that are expected to grow into regional and even global success stories. Therefore, the Fund’s potential investments should have target markets covering at least the MENA Region if not the global markets. MEVP expects the investment incentives from Intermediate Circular 331 to encourage Lebanese expat entrepreneurs as well as foreign entrepreneurs to establish ICT ventures using Lebanon as their launching pad. The ultimate goal is to create sustainable, highly paid High Tech jobs that will energize Lebanon’s future economic development.