Fadi Ghandour, the co-founder of Aramex, plans to raise as much as US$500 million for a second venture capital fund to invest in the burgeoning e-commerce business in the Middle East.
Mr Ghandour, who this week sold his stake in Dubai-based logistics company Aramex, is closing Wamda Capital’s first $70m fund soon, he said in an interview on Monday. The fund will target an average investment of $250,000 to $5m in the early and growth stages of e-commerce and technology companies, he said. Mr Ghandour, Wamda’s chairman, said he will start fundraising next year for Wamda II, with a target size of $300m to $500m that will extend investments to Turkey and Pakistan.
“E-commerce is happening in the region, it’s growing massively,” Mr Ghandour said. “There’s about 200 million people in the region that are online. They are transacting. They are effectively building the next economy. I’m betting on those.”
Mr Ghandour sold his holding in Aramex, which he co-owned through a stake in Levant Logistics, to two companies backed by Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties. Mr Ghandour says he plans to spend more time on his new ventures and supporting tech start-ups.
“My time is really focused on what I’m doing in the future,” Mr Ghandour said, making it easier “to take the decision and do what I’ve done with Aramex.”
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