Nuwa Capital raises $75m fund to invest in MENA startups

By Robert Scammell

Investment platform Nuwa Capital has raised $75m to invest in startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Dubai and Riyadh-based venture capital firm launched in February 2020, scooping up $75m in less than a year for its flagship Nuwa Ventures Fund I. It aims to raise its full $100m target by the end of 2021.

In addition to startups in the MENA region, Nuwa Capital is investing its funds in companies based in Turkey, Pakistan and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Nuwa Network draws together a network of founders and experts to assist startups in emerging markets, with its ties to the startup community in the Middle East giving it a foundation in the region.

“We launched the fund in a year forever marked with the upending of how our economies and societies have traditionally functioned,” said Khaled Talhouni, managing partner at Nuwa Capital.

“At the heart of this shift was the unprecedented adoption of technology, particularly in emerging markets. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to reshape our economies around innovation and entrepreneurship and prime our societies for decades of positive growth.”

Nuva Capital has so far signed companies in healthcare, pharmaceutical, real estate, media and logistics to its fund.

Members of the Nuwa Capital team have previously invested in fast-growing startups in the MENA region, including Careem, Mumzworld, Goldenscent and Nana Direct.

The Nuwa Ventures Fund I has already invested in eyewear prescription firm Eyewa, furniture marketplace Homzmart and payroll fintech FlexxPay.

Nuwa Ventures said it will announce additional investments in the coming weeks.

“We set out to redefine the relationship between capital and founders. Although we expected a delay given the challenging economic climate and limited travel, we have been able to build the right partnerships and finalise our first close in under a year,” said Stephanie Nour Prince, partner, network and operations at Nuwa Capital.

“With a distinguished community of LPs and the Nuwa Network, we are able to scale value creation and offer both strategic and operational support to our portfolio across the region as we move forward.”

Read more: January tech acquisition value soars by 157% year on year