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Rasmal Ventures launches first home-grown Qatari VC fund

Team members behind Careem’s first VC investment will manage fund which targets high-performance technology startups.

Rasmal Ventures Team - VC Fund

(Doha, 9 June 2024) Rasmal Ventures LLC, Qatar’s first independent venture capital (VC) company which was established in 2023, has today announced the launch of its inaugural, home-grown venture capital fund, Rasmal Innovation Fund I LLC. 

A new fund, and the first to be established in Qatar, it will be managed by a highly experienced team of VC experts that have collectively managed more than 100 VC deals, alongside impressive exits. 

The landmark initiative is aiming to reach USD $100 million in investment commitments. For its first closing of over USD $30 million, it includes a prestigious institutional investor, family offices and individual high net worth investors from across Qatar and the rest of the world. 

Rasmal Innovation Fund LLC is a Qatar-based entity registered under the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) under the number 02532.

The fund will target investments in innovative and high-performance technology startups and scaleups across Qatar, the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and internationally at pre-Series A, Series A and Series B stages. While the fund will scout all technology sectors agnostically, it will have a strategic interest in climate and energy tech, fintech, supply chain logistics, B2B SaaS and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The launch of Rasmal Innovation Fund I LLC aligns firmly with the country’s Third National Development Strategy (NDS3) as it aims to contribute to the creation of a buoyant tech ecosystem which is underpinned by easy access to a range of investment and funding opportunities.

The fund benefits from a team of seasoned VC professionals including Alexander Wiedmer and Angus Paterson, previously Partners at Iris Capital and STC Ventures – a GCC fund that was the first VC investor in Careem, the first unicorn in the Middle East, among other successful investments. 

Both have over 20 years of individual VC experience and more than 10 years’ experience in the GCC. They are joined by the founding director of Doha Tech Angels and former executive at Ooredoo and Kahramaa Dr Shaikha Al Jabir and Soumaya Ben Beya Dridje, who has VC, fund investment and entrepreneurship experience in Silicon Valley, Europe and North Africa.

Wiedmer, who has had extensive experience advising entrepreneurs and investment institutions within Qatar’s vibrant startup ecosystem over the past four years, said: “We have helped build the most successful unicorn in the region and many other successful companies in Europe and now we will do it again with Rasmal Ventures. As a private and commercially driven entity, we strategically selected Qatar as the domicile for the fund, to be the springboard to the region. Being a venture capitalist is the best job on the planet, empowering ambitious innovators and their great companies.”

Meanwhile, Qatar Development Bank (QDB), which has long been a champion of the country’s venture capitalist economy, hailed news of the fund’s launch. 

Abdulrahman Hesham Al-Sowaidi, Chief Executive Officer, QDB, said: “Qatar’s emergence as a major VC hub for cutting-edge tech startups is very promising. QDB is proud to play a key role in fostering a robust VC ecosystem driven by independent private sector leadership. This strongly aligns with our national development strategy, equipping the private sector to drive innovation and growth”

Technology companies and professional investors wanting to know more about Rasmal Innovation Fund I LLC can get further information at https://rasmalventures.com/.

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