IFC announced an investment in a new venture capital fund from Disruptech Ventures to support development in Egypt’s fintech sector and help expand access to financial services in the country.
IFC committed $5m in Disruptech, which aims to provide seed capital to up to 25 start-ups with a particular focus on financial technology services. The fund raised $25m from several investors and will be an important financing source for Egyptian tech companies, which often struggle to raise capital to bring their innovations to market.
Expanding access to financial services—from making deposits to paying bills—is urgent in Egypt, where only 33 percent of people have a bank account, according to the most recent World Bank data. Meanwhile, the amount of venture capital available in Egypt is just a quarter that of the emerging market average, though it has grown more than 10-fold since 2016.
Along with capital, Disruptech will also provide advice and mentorship to the businesses it supports.
“Egypt is full of bright, talented founders but too often, they cannot secure the capital they need to expand their businesses,” said Mohamed Okasha, Managing Partner from Disruptech Ventures. “This fund is designed to change that, and support the development of Egypt’s fintech/fintech-enabled sector.”
“IFC’s investment in Disruptech will not only nurture innovative start-ups in Egypt, but also expand access to financial services, crucial in building financial inclusion and supporting broader economic growth in Egypt,” said Yasmine El-Hini, IFC Egypt Country Officer and Acting Country Manager for Egypt and Libya.
Disruptech is currently investing in firms with the potential to modernize and digitize financial transactions, speeding the process of expanding financial services in Egypt that was galvanized by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched 18 months ago, Disruptech has invested 30% of its fund size in financial technology start-ups to date. Fund manager Mohamed Okasha is the former Managing Director of Egypt’s largest electronic payment provider, Fawry, a company he also co-founded.
IFC’s investment in Disruptech is part of IFC’s Startup Catalyst program, which supports the development of early-stage venture capital ecosystems globally. As of June 2021, IFC’s global Venture Capital investments reached $1.6bn in over 100 companies and funds, supporting nearly 1,700 companies.
IFC’s investment portfolio in Egypt stood at $1.2bn as of January 2022. During the past two fiscal years, IFC has committed and mobilized about $720 million in the country, supporting private businesses and economic activity through the COVID-19 pandemic.