By : Nahla Makled – Saber Mohamed
Flat6Labs, a regional Seed Program and Fund, announced today the second close and increase of its Egypt fund from EGP50 million to EGP207 million, to support Egyptian early-stage startups. Flat6Labs has also announced that it’s raising its cash seed offering for its Cairo Seed Program to up to EGP1.5M, and up to EGP3M in post-program follow-on funding for selected startups.
The Flat6Labs Accelerator Company (FAC) Egypt fund was launched in 2017 to invest in 100+ innovative startups across Egypt over the span of five years, with a focus on tech-enabled solutions. Over the past three and half years of the investment period, the Flat6Labs Cairo Seed Program has run 7 cycles, invested in 62 startups, trained over 350 founders, and created over 1,000 jobs - 96% of which are youth between the ages of 19-35. Around half of Flat6Labs’ portfolio companies in Egypt have received follow-on funding with a total of EGP145,000,000.
The FAC fund’s existing Anchor Investors include the International Finance Corporation, the MSME Development Agency, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, and Egypt Ventures, who have all increased their commitments in the FAC fund to support more early-stage technology startups in Egypt. Sawari Ventures, the latest significant investor in the FAC fund, has also participated in the second close of the fund.
Wael Amin, Managing Partner at Sawari Ventures, said “Flat6Labs Egypt plays an integral role at the seed stage within the local and regional ecosystems; successfully providing the foundational support startups need through funding and mentorship, which is appealing for us. At Sawari Ventures, our fund strategy has always been to allocate a percentage of our fund to the seed stage which is a completely different proposition in terms of process, culture, and support needed. As investors in Flat6Labs Accelerator Company, we get the opportunity to profitably participate in Egyptian companies at a very early stage, get early indicators on ecosystem trends, and visibility into the ecosystem.”
Commenting on the occasion, Marie-Therese Fam, Managing Partner at Flat6Labs Egypt, said “I am extremely proud of our fund's second close and the incredible support we have received from all our Anchor Investors. I am truly looking forward to continuing on the success of our fund in leading the digital economy transformation in Egypt, and building on the achievements we have made so far including the growing number of supported startups.”
“Flat6Labs is participating in the development of the startup ecosystem in Egypt. We are proud to support them in helping our community embrace the digital economy”, added Ahmed Gomaa, CEO of Egypt Ventures.
Highlighting Flat6Labs’ role in nurturing a promising startup ecosystem and closing the financing gap for entrepreneurs in Egypt, James Harmon, Chairman of the EAEF, said “We believe that startup accelerators are instrumental to building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are proud of Flat6Labs’ efforts and role in building the startup ecosystem in Egypt and will continue to support them as they fill an important financing gap in the market,”
Hany Emad, Head of Central Sector for SME Finance at MSMEDA, added, “We consider Flat6Labs as one of our strategic partners and due to the success achieved during implementing the first close, we decided to increase our commitment to reach EGP 35 million.”
“We are very excited to expand our partnership with Flat6Labs and increase our commitment to up to $2.5 million. We invested in Flat6Labs back in 2017 as part of IFC’s Startup Catalyst program and have since supported its growth and expansion in Egypt and more broadly in the region,” said Walid Labadi, IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.