Plans for a new Iraq venture fund have been announced by some of the Iraq ecosystem's pioneers, Omar Al-Handal (The Station), Bassam Falah (Innovest ME, Ruwwad Al Iraq), and Mohammed Khudairi (Iraq Tech Ventures), who will serve as the fund's General Partners.
The partnership is called Iraq Venture Partners (IVP), and it plans to invest in early-stage startups, from seed stage to series A.
The fund will focus on the innovation and knowledge economy in Iraq, across several industries. Investments will be shared between new startups and follow-on investment.
Mohammed Khudairi of Iraq Tech Ventures said:
"As some of the first investors in the Iraq ecosystem, we are excited that the timing is right for a fund. There are many talented Iraqi entrepreneurs in need of capital, with few sources of funding available to them."
Bassam Falah, CEO of Innovest Middle East adds:
"Synergy has always been at the core of Innovest's DNA. We believe the value-add that each of the IVP partners brings to the equation will form a unique proposition that will cater to current critical needs of the Iraqi startup ecosystem."
Omar Al-Handal, Co-founder of The Station, said:
"We are confident in the potential of Iraqi startups. The fund will be a backbone for all the upcoming entrepreneurship opportunities in Iraq. We hope to shed more light on the distinctive startups that Iraq has to offer for potential investors."
The IVP General Partners boast some of the leading names in the Iraq startup ecosystem, having participated in Iraq's largest fundraising deals to date. They also have been integral in using their organizations to help establish deal flow and cultivate talent:
- The Station, Baghdad's premier co-working space, has been home to hundreds of startups and routinely hosts entrepreneurial programs and training for Iraqi entrepreneurs. The Station has recently set up Mosul's first co-working space and has plans to launch in Basra.
- Innovest Middle East was one of the earliest regional VCs to enter Iraq, investing behind some of the most promising Iraqi startups as well as establishing Ruwwad Al Iraq (aka IRAQPRENEURS), one of the key active enablers in the Iraqi startup space.
- Iraq Tech Ventures was the first to coordinate a fundraising round of its kind in an Iraqi startup in 2018. Through its syndicate of investors, it has raised millions of dollars for Iraqi startups and brought both local and international investors into the Iraqi startup ecosystem.