Chairperson of the Egyptian Association for Direct Investment Abdallah El Ebiary said that investment in venture capital is the new growth locomotive for the country, where these investments can help successful companies and products with a better future and good growth potential through the restructuring of emerging companies with high risk. This helps advance the economy and promote it, as the number of these companies is high, so taking interest in them would reflect positively on the economy.
The Egyptian Association for Direct Investment launched a forum for investors in startups and venture capital funds. This came during a meeting organised by the association with a number of equity investors. The meeting was attended by about fifty experts in the field of investing in startups, as well as mentors and incubator managers.
El Ebiary noted that this is an important step in the development of the equity investment sector, as it brings together an important segment of venture capital and startup investors under one roof to discuss ways to develop and grow the sector.
“This aspect is an integral part of private equity funds and is important to output new companies that need financing in order to expand and grow,” he stressed.
CEO of KI Angel Venture Capital Fund Khaled Ismail said that there must be a clear separation between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups. He explained that SMEs are often small family companies already existing in the market with the aim of growing, while startups are riskier and require more time and effort from investors. He added that the added value that startups need is not only financing, but also education and guidance to exchange expertise.
On the challenges faced by investors in venture capital, Ismail said that the most important challenge is the availability of skills and perseverance among young people who aim to establish new companies, next to the availability of financing to enable venture capital funds to expand their investments.
He pointed out that some of the owners of emerging projects that aim to obtain funding are usually youth who worked for existing companies and gained some experience that enables them to start their own businesses, in comparison with the newly graduated youth who lack the practical experience, which was more common in previous years.
A15 Investment and Venture Development director Tamer Azer talked about the growth of this sector in recent years, which will enrich the sector with experience gained from new skills and different investment models applied by various dealers.
As for the sources of funding for the funds, Azer said that the new generation of successful businesspeople has become educated and risk averse, increasing the ability of venture capital funds to obtain financing on their own, compared to the international financial institutions that require a large sum of market data that cannot be available in an emerging industry.
He stressed that he is optimistic about the sector despite the challenges, adding that this positive image must be conveyed to investment institutions abroad.
Ahmed El Sherif, chairperson of the board of directors of Abdullatif El Sherif Group and a member of the Egyptian Association for Direct Investment, highlighted three main challenges: the legal and regulatory framework of the sector, sources for financing venture capital funds, and the availability of experienced startups owners.