March 4, 2014

MEVP Newletter

On December 19, 2013 we proudly announced the launch of our new fund: The IMPACT Fund by MEVP.

The $50 million Venture Capital fund will invest $1-5 million in Lebanon’s next generation knowledge based startups, with ICT and creative industries as primary sectors, to create regional and global success stories. The incentives will reach and encourage Lebanese expats as well as foreign entrepreneurs globally to start entrepreneurial ventures using Lebanon as a launching pad.

IMPACT Fund by MEVP will be 100% compliant with BDL Circular 331, is sponsored by BLOMINVEST BANK and MedSecurities Investment, and holds BankMed, BLOM Bank, Bank Audi, and Banque Libano-Francaise as tentative anchor investors.

FADEL PARTNERS – Intellectual Property Management Software and Solutions (USA-Lebanon)

MEVP announces a US$1,000,000 investment in FADEL, the innovative provider of award-winning Intellectual Property Management software. FADEL’s technology is recognized for scalability, con­gurability and extendibility and FADEL’s solutions, known as the “IPM Suite”, currently capture, measure and monetize over $10 billion in retail sales and usage data and over $1 billion in annual royalty payments for global customers that include Marvel Entertainment, Harvard Business Publishing, O’Reilly Media and F5 Networks.

Potential – Business learning programs and events for entrepreneurs and employees (Lebanon – UAE)

MEVP announces a US$1,000,000 investment in “Potential”, the producer, organizer and provider of online and o‑ine business learning programs, classes, MOOCs (massive open online courses) and events for entrepreneurs and employees. Founded by Shadi Banna, Potential has built a high quality library of 100+ educational courses to target the e-learning market in MENA and Emerging Markets with online MOOCs and o‑ine events. Potential’s strong portfolio includes sponsors and clients such as Intel and Google.

ELEMENT^N/APSTRATA – Accelerating web and mobile with BaaS (Lebanon – USA)

MEVP announces a US$600,000 investment in “element^n”, owner of next generation BaaS platform “Apstrata”. With more than 9 years of experience, element^n brings together an advanced cloud platform and a world class team to provide a completely integrated approach for accelerating web, mobile and SaaS applications. Founded by Rabih Nassar, an entrepreneur and technologist with over 19 years of international experience, Apstrata targets the Backend as a Service (BaaS) market, a sub segment of cloud services, as one of the first movers in MENA.

LAMSA – Delivering educational value to
children (UAE – Jordan – KSA)

MEVP announces a US$500,000 Series A investment in MENA based company “Lamsa”, the ­rst-of-its-kind digital e-content platform for children in the Arab world. Lamsa delivers interactive edutainment content targeting children aged 1 to 7 years old. Founded by experienced entrepreneur Badr Ward, Lamsa operates across the GCC and Levant markets providing children with a variety of Arabic Content (interactive books, rhymes, games, and videos), making it a destination of choice to more than 250,000 children and families.

INSTABUG – Instant bug reporting for mobile apps (Egypt – USA)

MEVP announces a seed investment in “Instabug”, an Egyptian startup now based in Silicon Valley. Instabug is a tool for mobile developers that can be integrated with any app, to allow their users to give them feedback in a seamless way. Founded by Moataz Soliman and Omar Gabr, Instabug sets out to revolutionize bug reporting by providing an easy, simple and full service solution for the global market that can be integrated with any application with just one line of code. Co-investors include CairoAngels, LeapVC, Georges Harik, as well as a Plug & Play / Silicon Valley who has a joint venture with Mobily KSA.

BNOOKI – Product and price comparison of ­nancial products and services (Lebanon – GCC)

MEVP announces an investment in “Bnooki”, a leading banking and insurance price comparator website already working with 21 ­nancial institutions in Lebanon. Founded by Elie Boujaoude, aims at being a reference across MENA markets.

ANGHAMI – MENA’s leader in web and mobile music streaming

Anghami is the #1 music app across app stores in MENA with around 4 million users and a database of 4 million songs to date. Following its stellar growth this year, Anghami closed a US$1.5M round of funding with a leading GCC-based telecom operator.

THE LUXURY CLOSET – Fast growing e–commerce platform for luxury fashion

MEVP has chosen to invest more capital in The Luxury Closet over the past 6 months, raising the total investment to $475k. The company introduced new product lines (sunglasses, watches and accessories) in order to complement its traditional business of selling pre-owned luxury bags. The Luxury Closet reached the $300k line in total monthly sales, following a stellar growth this year. It is in current discussion with a GCC based investor to close a Series B round.

BOOKWITTY – Reaching 10,000 books sold per day

Bookwitty, owned by Cedar Books, is one of the best performing 3rd Party Vendors on Amazon, peaking at 10,000 books a day. Following an extraordinary performance this year, sales have reached $20 million in 2013, a 70% growth compared to last year. With an innvovative B2C e-commerce platform in the making, growth is expected to further accelerate in 2014 with a $40 million revenue target.

SHAWARMANJI – Expanding with franchises across the region

Shawarmanji, the modern Shawarma chain, opened 8 outlets in Lebanon and 3 in Dubai in 2013.
12 new outlets are in the pipeline for the GCC and franchising deals for Qatar are signed.

SHAHIYA – The #1 food portal in MENA and GCC with more exclusive content

Shahiya further experienced healthy organic growth this quarter peaking at 2.4 million monthly visitors, with 40% coming from the GCC underlining Shahiya’s strong presence there. Recently it was granted an exclusive right on the Arabic version of “Taste of Beirut”, including 600+ high quality recipes & pictures, and an exclusive web right on Arabic Cooking Content of Antoine-Hachette publishing house that will raise the quality bar for Arabic content even higher.

B.A.S – Prime clients signed up for B.A.S’ global cash management solutions

Box & Automation Solutions (B.A.S provider of treasury based SAAS) signed Aramex, Daily Motion and Clarins among other high pro­le new clients during the past two quarters. The Company has beaten world leader Sunguard in its past 5 tenders globally.

Louis Lebbos joined the MEVP team as a Venture Partner and Portfolio Manager, supporting our portfolio companies with ­rst-class mentorship. Louis will be based in Dubai.

Elie Habib joined the MEVP team as a Silicon Valley Venture Partner,
bridging the Middle East with the heart of technology innovation in the US.
Elie will be based in Silicon Valley / Bay Area.

Michael Mitsakos joined the MEVP team as an Analyst, supporting our team in Beirut.

Silicon Valley Office

1702-L Meridian
Avenue, #205
San Jose,
CA 95125
Phone: +1-408-905-9679

Dubai O­ffice

Business Bay
Executive Tower K
Suite 3005, Dubai UAE
Phone: +971-50-876-6230
PoBox: 23025 Dubai