A new venture fund, the Fenox Global Fund IV, seeks to invest $100m in seed, Series A and pre-IPO funding throughout the United States, Asia and the Middle East. The fund has been established by Fenox Venture Capital, a global investment firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, in partnership with Innovation 360, a leading innovation consultancy based in Dubai, UAE.
Fenox’s current investment portfolio includes, among many others, Dream Link Entertainment (DLE), the largest animation company of its kind in Japan that recently executed an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and Lark, a wearable technology company whose products are now sold at Apple stores around the world. Fenox’s portfolio companies have been included in joint venture rounds with some of the top VCs in the world.
Now open to investors in the Middle East, the Fenox Global Fund IV will seek to invest in information technology startups – including Internet, computer hardware and software, and communications – as well as startups in the area of healthcare technology and clean tech. The fund strategy is to invest in a mix of startups in need of seed and Series A funding in the Middle East, pre-IPO companies from Asia, and seed and Series A startups in the United States – particularly Silicon Valley.
“We are breaking new ground in the Middle East with the Fenox Global Fund IV,” said Brent Traidman, General Partner at Fenox. “I know of no other time that a Silicon Valley VC has used capital from Middle East investors to promote entrepreneurship in the local region,” he added.
At the same time, Kamal Hassan, Fenox General Partner and president of Innovation 360, cautioned that the number of businesses seeking VC funding in the Middle East is small compared to regions where the startup culture is more mature. “Fenox sees the huge opportunity for growth in the MENA region, and so we are offering funding and expertise to a few best-in-class regional startups who we believe will provide significant long-term gain,” he said. “However, by also investing in more mature companies from Silicon Valley and Asia, the fund will diversify the investors’ portfolio and create a greater return for investors,” he added.
Fenox has a track record of investing in global businesses from all around the world, having managed funds that focus on entrepreneurial development in South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and China. Innovation 360 has been a visible and vocal supporter of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE. In addition to establishing i360accelerator for early stage startups, founder Kamal Hassan is a Managing Director for the TURN8 seed accelerator established by DP World, and has himself invested in 19 startups from the Middle East and elsewhere.
10% of the fund ($10m) has already been committed. Fenox Venture Capital is currently qualifying additional investors for the fund.
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