Enhance Ventures launches $30m fund to invest in FinTech and commerce in Middle East

Company plans to create 5,000 high-tech jobs over next five to 10 years through fund

From left, Alper Celen, Mohammad AlHokail and Ritesh Tilani, partners at Enhance Ventures. Photo: Enhance Ventures
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Enhance Ventures, a regional venture studio, has launched a $30 million Builders Fund to invest in new initiatives in the areas of finance technology and commerce in the Middle East.

Through the fund, the company plans to “create 5,000 high-tech jobs, produce 500 business leaders, train 50 capable founders and be the institutional co-founder to at least five major exits in the region” in the next five to 10 years, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“As a venture studio, we support founders materially in the early stages of venture development, when they need help the most. This dramatically increases the success rate for start-ups,” said Mohammad Al Hokail, partner at Enhance Ventures.

Venture studios build start-ups, starting from idea conceptualisation to launch, while also providing capital and guidance. They also support their growth using internal capabilities and external support.

Currently, there are more than 730 active venture studios in the world, with 50 per cent of them launched in the past five years, the Dubai International Financial Centre reported.

Launched in 2016, Enhance has dual headquarters in Dubai and Riyadh. The company, which focuses on building digital businesses in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, also has a technology centre in Istanbul and satellite offices in Cairo, Amman and Beirut.

“Trends such as Web3, open banking, the move to a cashless society, the need for frictionless consumer and SME finance and the growth of B2B commerce have created new opportunities,” said Ritesh Tilani, partner at Enhance Ventures.

Acting as an institutional co-founder, Enhance Ventures offers entrepreneurs support through its venture-building methodology, venture architects, technology development, marketing support, human resources, funding and office space, among others, added Alper Celen, partner in the company.

Enhance’s first venture, Joi Gifts, is one of the region’s largest online gifting marketplaces. It spun off from the studio 10 months ago after it raised funding from investors such as Knuru Capital and Panthera Capital.

Other portfolio companies include Right Farm, a business-to-business agriculture technology firm; Clevr, a platform that provides small and medium-sized enterprises with sales and marketing tools; and Blue Terra, a marketplace that delivers eco-friendly and organic products.

Last year, the company also launched Enhance Innovation to support corporations and government organisations with their studio strategy and in building individual ventures and studios of their own.

The new unit has collaborated with players such as DIFC and ADQ, one of the region’s biggest holding companies.

Updated: July 28, 2022, 3:45 PM
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