LFP227 – Fintech in the Middle East and North Africa w/Said Murad Partner Global Ventures

The latest in the LFP’s coverage of Fintech in geographical regions and this fascinating balance between the bottom-up and the top-down, between localisation and globalisation of Fintech.

As always when covering vast territories containing many nations,  “regions” contain widely differing conditions, not least of which background of FS  structure and infrastructure in the first place.

Said, a partner at Global Ventures, is well-placed to give us a tour d’horizon as not just is his day job being a VC specialising in the region but he was previously a CEO, COO and consultant so he is someone who really understands business in the round as well as being born in Jordan and living in Dubai.

Topics discussed include:

  • working on a bid for Liverpool Football Club
  • valuing football clubs
  • intangibles and goodwill
  • Said’s career journey
  • the Japanese spiral staircase model of career progression
  • where is the Middle East/MENA? Where does it end?
  • geography versus practicality from an investment perspective – the latter often including Turkey and Pakistan eg which is a long way away, whilst eg not including Iran
  • general background to the region/subregions
  • 2022 Tech space VC funding was ~$3.2bn of which just under $1bn went into Fintech
  • historically roots in Levant and Egypt where the older tech companies were born
  • cross-border as an ancient background
  • 400m population in MENA of which 100m in Egypt
  • early stage companies often focus on Egypt/Saudi/UAE as their heartland
  • Etihad and Emirates as GCC exemplars of quality
  • the relevance of geography and historical trading patterns
  • general needs across the region and how they vary
  • Fintech in the GCC
  • trends in the subtypes of Fintech
  • affinity to partner with Fintechs to lower cost to serve
  • GV’s Fintech in MENA 2020 Report (main bones of which still apply)
  • when did Fintech take off in the region?
  • a VC community per se in the region emerged roughly 2010 onwards
  • some key regional Fintechs
  • Fintech in the Levant and North America
  • what leads to differences
  • key exemplars
  • the development of Fintech in North Africa is further ahead the further east
  • Fintech and Islamic Banking – some Fintechs offer one or the other or both
  • going forwards unique opportuniti9es in the region and “leapfrogging”
  • shoutouts for Global Ventures
  • what GV are looking for in terms of founders

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!