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500 Global COO Courtney Powell views Egypt as strong market for new start-ups

The global investor has joined up with Egyptian government to start programmes that will support about 200 start-ups and 60 accelerators.
30.11.22 | Source: The National News

The US venture capital firm 500 Global has opened an office in Cairo — its first in Africa — nearly a decade after making its initial investments in Egyptian start-ups.

“We feel very strongly that our conviction to invest in the best founders everywhere has paid off,” 500 Global’s chief operating officer and managing partner Courtney Powell told The National.

“We’re now investing from the first cheque all the way to pre-IPO [initial public offering]. So we’re expanding the stage of the funds and expanding very aggressively from a geographic perspective as well.”

The company has invested in more than 60 start-ups in Egypt since 2013, including MaxABHomzmart, Breadfast, Money FellowsBrimore and Wuzzuf.

As the Arab world’s most populous country with one of the fastest growing start-up ecosystems in the Middle East and Africa, Egypt has “a strong market of talent and new start-ups being born”, Ms Powell said.


Venture capital funding in Egypt-based start-ups reached $491 million last year and recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 117 per cent between 2017 and 2021, start-up data platform Magnitt said.