Entrepreneurship

Predictions and Expectations of MENA VCs for 2018: DASH Ventures’ Omar Sati and team

Amman-based DASH Ventures is one of the leading VC firms of the region. Founded in 2011, the firm has companies like Jamalon, Kharabeesh, Altibbi, Arabia Weather and Akhtaboot in their portfolio.

It had started as a private partnership of entrepreneurs and business experts who come with tens of years of experience of building and backing different successful regional and international companies

Their most recent investments have been in FloraNow, Altibbi, and Liwwa.

We had a chance to have a quick chat with the DASH Ventures’ team to learn about their expectations for 2018. Here is what they had to say.

Omar J. Sati

Omar is founder and Managing Director of DASH Ventures. He currently serves as mentor and advisor to early stage startups and sits on the board of many companies. Prior to founding DASH, Omar was Venture Principle at Accelerator Tech, an Amman-based VC firm. He is also very active on Twitter, sharing his wisdom and thoughts about regional startups and ecosystems on the platform.

Prediction(s):

“2018 will be the year of the accelerator. The region will witness a proliferation in startup accelerators with varying models and more focused programs; i.e. industry-specific or tech-specific programs. A large majority of startups in our ecosystem today are in the pre-seed and seed stages and looking for pre-seed or seed financing rounds. This creates a huge opportunity for accelerators to play a key role in the scaling-up of these growth-oriented entrepreneurial ventures.”

Expectation(s):

“The region experienced unprecedented early-stage startup investment activity in the last two years. Most of this activity centred around Series A and B rounds in which startups use the funds to optimize their models, monetize, and expand market reach. This year, many of these companies will be ready for scale; Series C rounds and beyond. Therefore, I expect to see more funds flow to growth and later-stage rounds as existing and new investors look further down the venture capital funnel.”

Favorite Highlight from 2017:

“Dubai’s Land Department becoming the world’s first government entity to adopt Blockchain technology and the potential for Dubai’s Government as a whole to become to the world’s first blockchain-powered government. Cryptocurrencies aside, blockchain technology has the power and the potential to revolutionize the world economy.”

Aboudi Al-Qattan

Aboudi is an Investment Analyst with DASH Ventures. He has previously developed entrepreneurship curriculum and content for social entities in Jordan and Syria that has been used to teach refugees in these countries. He holds a degree in Entrepreneurship from Babson College.

Prediction(s)

“Dubai follows Saudi Arabia and creates their first AI robot citizen.”

Expectation(s)

“The number of startups focused on blockchain technology will increase significantly as people become more comfortable with the technology. We will start seeing the technology being integrated into our daily lives on multiple levels.”

Favorite Highlight from 2017

“Careem’s Series E round closes with total valuation over $1 billion.”

Sara Jaradat

Sara is an Investment Associate with DASH Ventures. She has previously worked with Amman-based VC firm iMENA Group and Ernst & Young. She is a Fulbright scholar with a Master of Science in Finance from Case Western University.

Prediction(s)

“(More) global funds investing in regional startups.”

Expectation(s):

“More seed and early stage investments in deep technology applications such as AI and block chain applications.”

Favorite highlights from 2017

“Amazon entering the market through Souq’s acquisition.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Contributor at MENAbytes
An HR Consultant based in Riyadh who has always been passionate about tech and startups. Currently trying to build his own startup, Qraar. You can reach him on Linkedin,  Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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