Golden Gate Ventures lands first close of inaugural US$100 mil MENA fund in Qatar

Golden Gate Ventures lands first close of inaugural US$100 mil MENA fund in Qatar
  • Second near of account backed by some of Qatar’s most important people
  • Oman was drawn to VC firms because of their track record in creating SEA startup ecosystem.

Michael Lints, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures and Hussain Abdulla, Senior Advisor at Golden Gate Ventures.

Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital fund founded by Silicon Valley natives, announced its first US$ 100 million ( RM468 million ) MENA fund at the Qatar Economic Forum held from May 14 to 16 in Doha. The second close of US$ 20 million ( RM93.66 million ) is backed by anchor investor, the multiple- faceted Al Khor Holding with 60 years of history, the Al Attiya Group known frequently for its tremendous help for developing local organizations, and Sheikh Jassim Jabor Al Thani.

The news of the first tight supported by the arches of Qatar’s private business community is a significant step forward in Golden Gate Ventures ‘ efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the MENA area. The bank combines Golden Gate Ventures ‘ extensive experience with developing startups ecosystems in Silicon Valley and Asia with the collective local effect of its owners.

Oman was drawn to the VC firm because of their track record in developing the SEA business ecosystem. The first global venture capital fund to be established and managed in Qatar is the Golden Gate Ventures MENA Fund I. Michael Lints, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, has moved to Qatar to strengthen the firm’s MENA responsibility.

The US$ 100 million MENA fund may focus on powering startups in vital sectors such as alternate energy, clean technology, B2B Artificial Intelligence, and energy- related strong tech, on top of stalwarts like fintech, healthtech and edtech. In these areas, SEA has seen huge growth and has launched some well-known Investments in the last ten years. The relationship between MENA and SEA is expected to have a multiplier impact on their progress, and its direction is anticipated to follow that of SEA.

Qatar has been building up its financial prowess and startup ecosystem in recent years with a friendly government, a powerful push for financial diversification, a pro- business environment, and large investment into the startup space. These tactics closely resemble those used in Singapore, which helped the city-state’s startup ecosystem <a href="https://www.startupblink.com/startup-ecosystem/singapore”>rank first in the SEA and second globally.

Qatar is emerging as a growing hub for innovation, and MENA is emerging as a shining example of progress. I remember when Golden Gate Ventures established itself ahead of the other VCs that came after in Singapore in 2011. We see a real opportunity to help startups move from one region to the next by creating a golden corridor of growth between SEA and MENA. We connected Silicon Valley to SEA close to 15 years ago, and now we do so with a presence in all the major global startup hubs,” said Vinnie Lauria, founding partner at Golden Gate Ventures.

In fact, several high- profile startups on Golden Gate Ventures ‘ portfolio have expanded to the Gulf, among which are CodaPay, Stripe and Multiplier. The firm’s extensive CEO exploratory trips over the past 18 months, which have introduced SEA startups to the Gulf markets and helped them build their social capital, have given them this ability to scale to the Gulf from SEA and Singapore.

Golden Gate Ventures ‘ SEA-MENA partnership began with QInvest, a state fund with Qatar as an LP in its Asia fund, in the early days. As the SEA ecosystem matures and the MENA ecosystem grows as a potential global competitor, the firm anticipates more activity between the regions.

” Golden Gate Ventures has spent close to a decade curating our networks in the Middle East and developing our long-term strategy for the region with the aim of growing both SEA and MENA together synergistically. We have connected the startup ecosystems in MENA and the SEA and hope to expand this. There are opportunities for startups to scale between the regions and a number of complementary growth areas, such as climate tech, health tech, and edtech,” said Michael.

Golden Gate Ventures also announced the launch of its Qatar startup ecosystem primer,” Qatar Rising: Where ambition and capital converge,” at the company’s announcement of the MENA Fund I. It serves as an industry primer and provides an in-depth analysis of how various factors, including the Gulf state’s robust economic policy, investment climate, startup ecosystem, talent pool, and cultural influence, have all come together.

Golden Gate Ventures has seen remarkable growth over the past two years, expanding its footprint with the opening of its Vietnam operations in 2022 to capitalize on its position as a leading global economy, opening an office in Saudi Arabia in 2023 to exploit opportunities in the Middle East-Southeastern Asia corridor, and adding a New York presence recently to assist portfolio companies in raising funds from the region.