COTU Ventures to invest $54 million in early-stage startups across the MENA region

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February 27, 2024
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2 min read
COTU Ventures
COTU Ventures; Source: TechCrunch

The news: 

  • COTU Ventures, a Dubai-based early-stage venture capital (VC) firm, has announced securing $54 million for its maiden fund to back MENA startups in their pre-seed to seed stages.
  • For the last two and half years, the VC firm has been actively injecting capital into startups across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), focusing primarily on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
  • The investment firm has already provided funding to more than 15 early-stage startups across different industries. 

COTU, which stands for Champions of the Underdogs, prides itself on supporting founders from inception to post-product launch. 

Amir Farha, founder and General Partner at COTU Ventures, disclosed that while the venture capital firm is open to investing across various sectors, it’s keen on backing fintech and B2B software companies. 

Regarding the firm's investment strategy, Farha stated that there is a great opportunity for startups to provide innovative solutions to many of the region's problems through software. The founder expressed his firm's interest in "high-margin industries where technology can play a massive role and capitalise on margin efficiencies."

Some notable startups in COTU Ventures’ portfolio include Huspy, a UAE mortgage platform; MoneyHash, an Egyptian fintech startup; Sirdab, a Saudi Arabian on-demand storage solution; and Mayple, a UAE-based delivery solution.

Farha previously invested in Careem, a Dubai-based ride-sharing platform, while co-founder of BECO Capital, an early-stage VC firm based in the UAE that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. As the firm started tending towards late-stage investment endeavours, he left to launch COTU Ventures, focusing on early-stage investments.  

Farha describes COTU Ventures' process for making informed investment decisions, saying they are engaging in more nuanced conversations with startups they are interested in, allowing them to explore all factors to build trust and establish connections with founders. 

What's more, this strategy also equips the investment firm with the necessary insight, allowing it to provide guidance to backed startups on fundraising, startup development, and go-to-market plans. 

Per Cotu Ventures, it also introduces startups to relevant stakeholders, including employees, customers, and potential late-stage investors. 

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