In part 2 of our podcast mini-series we look at the investor perspective of the current state of the global seed and growth stage investing environment. Our 2 guests today include Sean O'Sullivan the Managing General Partner at SOSV, a global venture capital firm providing multi-stage investment and investing in 150 companies, and Tien Wong CEO at Opus 8, where he provides strategy and fundraising advice to technology companies and investors. Opus8 organizes tech networking events as well as fundraising missions for private equity and VC firms to meet overseas LPs.
On this episode you'll learn:
How Sean has adapted his global vc and accelerator programs and how to think about approaching the post COVID-19 era - [6:01]
The difference between navigating market down turns as an entrepreneurs with a company of 15 vs as an executive with a company of 2300 employees - [13:26]
How this is affecting startup valuations and deal flow in the United States - [16:05]
In part 1 of our 2 part mini-series we dive into 3 different sectors ranging from delivery startups to CRISPR-based diagnostics as well as 3 geographies including Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Argentina. Our 3 guests today include Syed Sair Ali, Cofounder and CEO at Lahore, Pakistan based Eat Mubarak, Jurgen Descamps, the General Manager for Securiport based in Sierra Leone, as well as Franco Goytia, cofounder at CASPR Biotech based in Buenos Aires, Argentia and Silicon Valley.
On this episode you'll learn:
How delivery startups in emerging economies are being affected by COVID-19 - [6:38]
How Sierra Leone's experience with Ebola helped shape it's response to COVID-19 - [8:45]
How has COVID-19 affected the Buenos Aires Startup Ecosystem - [20:05]
Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani is co-founder & Managing Partner at Faith Capital, a venture capital practice that is focused on the GCC. He is also co-founder & CEO of Floward, a full-fledged flowers & gifts e-commerce platform. Previously, Abdulaziz was the founding Executive Vice Chairman of the Kuwait National Fund for SMEs Development, a USD 7bn independent public institution responsible for developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kuwait (2013-2017). Prior to this role, he was a co-founder and Managing Partner of Talabat.com until 2010, and has since then been investing in technology startups and has been involved in a number of local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives. Abdulaziz has also previously served as Director at Global Capital Management, the alternative investments arm of Global Investment House “Global”, where he has played a major role in managing key investments within the Private Equity Group of Global.
Listen in to learn the following:
How does the Kuwait government conduct investment promotion for their startup and business environment? [4:30]
What’s the state of venture capital as an asset class in the Gulf region? [9:55]
What’s the state of Commerce across the Gulf region? [13:00]
Omar Christidis is the founder of CEO of ArabNet, a digital media venture with the goal of spearheading the Arab Web and Mobile movement, and encouraging its expansion worldwide, was founded by Omar Christidis in 2010.
Born in Lebanon, Omar holds a BA in Ethic, Politics, and Economics from Yale, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. After his studies, Omar worked as a consultant where he was exposed to exciting and innovative digital developments. After spending a year working for Sheffield Investment Co., Omar decided to return to Lebanon and join his family business, International Business Alliance Group, a corporate event-planning firm that he sought to revitalize.
Under the IBAG umbrella, Omar launched the Web and Mobile Business Summit in 2010. It was the first of its kind in the region to focus on entrepreneurs and the digital economy. Its success drove Omar to develop ArabNet, which organized a regioin Road Show, boosting its brand.
ArabNet is the first platform of its region that targets the startup scene by bringing together private corporations, government entities, investors and non-profit organizations, among others. Having played an essential role in driving the growth of multiple young companies, ArabNet enjoys a loyal network of fans. Its impact extends beyond the revenue and jobs it creates – ArabNet catalyzes the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through the thousands of entrepreneurs and hundres of companies that attend its event and read its articles.
Joy Ajlouny co-founded Fetchr in 2015 , a Silicon Valley-backed tech company that was created to tackle the Middle East’s “no address” issue, which has been long been a hindrance to growth in emerging markets. She facilitated $52 million in initial investments in Fetchr, as well as $41 million in a series B round in 2017. The company now successfully operates in five countries with a 3500-person staff, and was dubbed the number one startup in the Middle East by Forbes.
Ahead of founding Fetchr, Ajlouny was the driving force and sole entity behind the e-commerce luxury fashion platform Bonfaire. Acquired by Moda Operandi––a fashion e-commerce giant owned by LVMH and Condé Nast––in 2013, just two years after its launch, this was only the start of what would develop into a long-lasting relationship between Ajlouny and the fashion industry. Ajlouny works as a consultant for fashion startups, and Venture Capitalists.