PIF-backed VC firm to target Mena startups

MSA Capital, a China-based venture capital (VC) firm that is backed by Saudi sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), is planning to raise US$1 billion to invest in startups based in the Middle East.

The fund is set to be launched some time in 2024, according to a report by Bloomberg.

MSA Capital managing partner Ben Harburg told Bloomberg that the company is currently talking to investors in the region about its plans for a fund launch.

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“Our objective is to play at later stages and write bigger tickets in those pre-IPO rounds, then we can take them public,” said Harburg.

MSA Capital has around $2.5 billion of assets under management and counts PIF subsidiary Jada Fund of Funds as one of its backers.

The Mena region, and Saudi Arabia in particular, has seen its startups enjoy an increased level of VC funding in the last three years.

According to MAGNITT, startups in Saudi Arabia secured more than $1.3 billion in 2023.

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