Rasmal Ventures | Soft Launch
Qatar’s First Independent Venture Capital Fund Manager
‘Rasmal Ventures’ Launched
Doha, 21st of June 2023: Rasmal Ventures LLC, the first independent Qatari venture capital (VC) company, has officially launched under the jurisdiction of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). Led by a team of seasoned venture capital experts, Rasmal Ventures aims to become an active player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s burgeoning startup and innovation ecosystem.
Founded by five seasoned venture capitalists, Rasmal Ventures is licensed to manage exempt funds domiciled in QFC as well as provide advisory services. Two of them, Alexander Wiedmer and Angus Paterson, were previously partners of Iris Capital and of a GCC fund that was the first institutional investor in Careem among other successful investments. Both have 20+ years of venture capital experience and 10+ years' experience of VC investing in the GCC. They are joined by the founding partner of Doha Tech Angels and former executive at Ooredoo and Kahramaa Dr Shaikha Al Jabir; ex-asset manager for Qatar Energy and M&A Advisor at PwC Marc Bourland, and Soumaya Ben Beya Dridje, who has VC, fund investment and entrepreneurship experience in Silicon Valley, Europe and North Africa.
By selecting QFC as its jurisdiction, the fund manager leverages the regulatory framework and favorable environment provided by QFC, benefitting from the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority’s (QFCRA) introduction of the Exempt Professional Investor Fund, a venture capital-friendly fund product with streamlined regulations. Rasmal Ventures' decision to establish its venture capital management company and its upcoming fund, Rasmal Innovation Fund I, within QFC jurisdiction, reflects its commitment towards providing a secure and transparent investment platform for Qatari and regional investors.
The Rasmal Innovation Fund I will be launched with the support of key Qatari private investors and institutions. The team is working with QFCRA to incorporate the fund, and a first closing is expected to be announced in Q4 2023. The company aims to raise a fund of $100 million, which will make up to 25 equity investments in Qatari start-ups and scale-ups affording outstanding growth potential as well as regional (MENA) and selective international technology investment opportunities at Pre-Series A, Series A, Series B stages.
The newly launched Fund manager aims to target high performing startups in fast-growing technology sectors. According to the founders, the fund will have a generalist tech approach across all sectors, but will also specialize in verticals such as climate tech and energy tech, supply chain logistics, fintech, B2B Saas Software and Artificial Intelligence (AI). They have identified these sectors as strategic to Qatar and offering tremendous growth potential in the region.
Dr Shaikha Al Jabir, Partner at Rasmal Ventures, said: “MENA has seen a dynamic and evolving venture capital landscape in recent years. According to a report by MAGNiTT, in 2022 alone the amount of funding in the region reached $3.2 billion, with 627 registered deals and a remarkable uptick in exits. For our team, this offers an attractive opportunity to establish our base in a thriving market within a regulated environment. We strongly believe that Qatar’s stable economic outlook and well-regulated infrastructure will appeal to Qatar-based, as well as international, investors.”
On his side, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC, said, "We are delighted to welcome Rasmal Ventures LLC to the QFC platform, yet another significant addition to our growing community. At the QFC, we remain committed to providing an exceptional and attractive business environment for startups to grow their businesses in Qatar. As an integral part of Qatar’s strategic initiative to build a robust economy, we aim to foster a thriving business ecosystem that drives innovation and accelerates technological advancement in the country. We are confident that Rasmal Ventures LLC will contribute to further the economic development of the region."
With the MENA region emerging as a leading destination for venture capital investment, characterized by a growing entrepreneurial spirit, high digital penetration, and increasing government support for innovation and startups, Rasmal Ventures' establishment is a milestone in Qatar’s continued efforts to foster a thriving innovation ecosystem. For more information about the launch of Rasmal Ventures, please visit http://rasmalventures.com