Saudi Arabia’s ICT Ventures, the sector vehicle fund of the Capital Markets Authority-licensed Malaz Capital is looking to increase its fund from SR100m ($28.5m) to SR500m by the end of next year.
“We are looking to grow our fund by five times, the first close will happen before the end of 2011 and we already have parties interested to commit to the fund,” says Barig Ahmed Siraj, chief executive of ICT Ventures.
The company currently has three investments to date, but is planning to increase its portfolio of investments with the fundraising.
“We are a regional fund and from an opportunity perspective, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are the hotbeds for potential,” says Siraj.
Both Egypt and Jordan have benefitted from a good education infrastructure and support of government to help start ups and entrepreneurs.
As for Saudi Arabia, it is the biggest market in the region and according to Siraj, the new labour minister is focused on helping small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Since 2008, ICT Ventures has invested in Egyptian company Mobidiv, which develops applications for smartphones. Its two other investments are Riyadh-based ITS World, a data security company and Ideal Ratings, a San Francisco-based company with offices in Cairo, which provides software to sharia-compliant fund managers.