Dear Entrepreneurs, Teams, Co-investors, LPs, Media and Friends,
First and foremost, I would like to start by wishing you a better year ahead on all fronts, mainly health and happiness.
“If ever there was a year that illustrated the humbling nature of our profession, this was it.” - Managers of the Sequoia Fund.
Over the past year, we have encountered significant disruptions to our portfolio companies caused by the pandemic, and especially to our Lebanese portfolio companies post the Aug 4 blast.
Nevertheless, the MENA investment scene in 2020 was vibrant as regional startups witnessed a record amount of funding with a total of $1B+ invested and Saudi alone seeing a 55% increase in funding. While the pandemic resulted in a slowdown in some industries like travel and offline retail, it had overall a positive impact on the tech sector as a whole: we saw an acceleration in digitization, the use of online payments instead of cash and the fast growth of several sectors such as e-commerce, edutech and healthtech.
In June 2020 we have celebrated MEVP’s 10th anniversary (Party postponed to 2021) and have restructured our company internally through change in shareholding and governance. Also during 2020 we have expanded our presence in the region and strengthened our ties with local ecosystems across several MENA countries. Our 50+ companies portfolio has mostly benefited from 2020 and has shown unprecedented growth. We have done our best to support them in different ways and only 2 companies struggled but have recently picked up steam.
Post-confinement era has coincided with the start of MEVP’s second decade. With the trust and ongoing support of our stakeholders we have accelerated the pace of investments, follow up rounds and exits.
Looking forward, and as the speed of vaccinations increases, we feel much more confident about 2021, feel blessed to be exposed to high growth sectors in the digital economy and trust that our 2021 performance will be stellar.