Posted on October 4, 2021
Insure and Match Ventures (IM Ventures) celebrated the official announcement of investments made by the Save Our Startups (SOS) Fund under the Lebanon Investment Initiative (LII), a $38 million program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The event was held on September 30, 2021 at Sursock Museum in the presence of H.E. U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea; USAID/Lebanon Mission Director, Eileen Devitt; Berytech Foundation President and LII Chief of Party, Mr. Maroun N. Chammas, and SOS Fund entrepreneurs, investors as well as local ecosystem stakeholders.
As a follow-on to the Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative (MENA II) which successfully built the early-stage investment ecosystem in Lebanon, USAID introduced the LII, a five-year program awarded to Berytech Foundation and implemented by IM Ventures, to provide and leverage investment capital and build supporting institutions to position Lebanon as an investment opportunity.
Save Our Startups Fund is the first high-growth investment vehicle created under USAID’s Lebanon Investment Initiative to support the startups and the overall investment ecosystem during the current economic crisis in Lebanon. This $12 million fund gathered 20 private and institutional investors, including Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Phoenician Funds, BY Venture Partners, Cedar Mundi, IM Ventures, and IM Capital. The SOS Fund invested in 11 Lebanese startups in the ICT sector, with sustainable and scalable business models geared towards growth, increased employment, and more importantly export.
In his welcome note, Maroun N. Chammas stated: “Through the USAID Lebanon Investment Initiative and IM Ventures, Berytech is ready and willing to experiment with novel ideas and concepts to foster entrepreneurs locally, regionally, and globally. The initiative will improve investor and business access to capital, advance the development of the overall financial system with a focus on capital markets, and strengthen the overall competitiveness of the Lebanese economy.” “We are thankful for the trust given to Berytech by USAID and we are committed to continue our pursuit of success as we support Lebanese talent in flourishing and creating a future we believe in”, he added.
Commenting on the initiative, H.E. Dorothy C. Shea, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon stated, “Today’s milestone builds on years of staunch support for the Lebanese entrepreneurial spirit, which we believe is the cornerstone of a vibrant and evolving economy in Lebanon… For our Lebanon Investment Initiative, the SOS fund is only the beginning. We will continue to support startups, and Lebanese businesses through other funds tailored to their needs as they address current and emerging opportunities. We will continue to work with investors to unlock capital to open more doors for Lebanese businesses.”
The event included a presentation to introduce the fund and the 11 Lebanese startups. “SOSF is focusing on the growth acceleration of ICT companies to help them develop and grow regionally and even globally. IM Ventures will devote considerable efforts to capacity-building of its investees and partner investors by providing strategic guidance, improving governance, enhancing market- linkages, continuing mentoring, hence sustaining and creating jobs as well as generating wealth”, said Nicolas Rouhana, IM Ventures General Manager.
IM Ventures works in partnership with business incubators, business accelerators, business angels, venture capital and private equity funds to co-fund or partially insure their investments, and provide needed technical support, to a broad spectrum of businesses ranging from seed stage to growth phase.
For more info visit www.im-fndng.com