Global development institution International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced a second investment of $15m into venture capital firm Algebra Ventures.
The $15 million IFC investment in Algebra Ventures Fund II is aimed at boosting the growth of 20 technology startups, primarily in Egypt but also in Africa. The fund, which has a target size of $90 million, will have a special focus on women-led businesses and those serving rural communities.
Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures said, “We are delighted to see IFC return as a limited partner in our second fund, having invested in our first fund five years ago as well as directly into our portfolio. IFC has been one of our strongest partners since day one and believed in our vision when there was no venture capital to speak of in Egypt. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership going forward.” The move is part of IFC’s strategy to support Africa’s blossoming start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The investment is also IFC’s second investment in Algebra Ventures as in 2016, IFC invested $10 million to co-anchor Algebra’s inaugural $54 million fund, which also attracted investments from Cisco Investments, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Algebra Fund I was the first Egypt-dedicated VC fund and has supported 21 tech startups and created over 3,500 direct and 28,000 indirect jobs.
Earlier this year, IFC directly invested $5 million in Brimore, an Algebra Ventures portfolio company and social commerce company, and $20 million in the Ezdehar Fund to enable smaller businesses access finance. In June 2021, IFC’s global Venture Capital investments closed $1.6 billion in over 100 companies and venture capital funds, supporting nearly 1,700 companies and helping to drive innovation and growth.
Yasmine El-Hini, IFC Egypt Country Officer and Acting Country Manager for Egypt and Libya said, “With its young, tech-savvy population and large market, Egypt’s entrepreneurs are perfectly poised to drive change in the country’s economy – with the right support,” said Yasmine El-Hini, IFC Egypt Country Officer and Acting Country Manager for Egypt and Libya. “With this investment, we are helping to push the country’s startup scene forward and encourage innovation.”
Over the past two years, IFC has invested $723 million in Egypt to help restore investor confidence, create jobs, and raise education standards. It has also been providing advisory services to strengthen business regulations, increase access to finance, support the development of smaller enterprises, and assist in the creation of public-private partnerships in infrastructure.
The International Finance Corporation is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.