MENA's Shorooq Partners makes first close of $100m private credit fund

MENA's Shorooq Partners makes first close of $100m private credit fund

The Landmark skyscraper, center, stands on the city skyline beside a waterway in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photographer: Alex Atack/Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi-based alternative investment manager Shorooq Partners announced that it has made the first close of its latest $100-million private credit fund.

The announcement, however, did not provide the amount that Shorooq Partners raised in the first close of its second private credit fund, which was launched in collaboration with IMM Investment Global (IMMG).

IMMG, which joins the fund as a minority partner, is a subsidiary of IMM Investment Corp, a $6-billion Korean private equity and venture capital firm.

The partnership is a continuation of the bond forged between the two firms through their first credit fund launched three years ago. The said fund invested in startups based in the MENA region.

Notable investments of the first fund include Pure Harvest, a smart farm producing fresh crops in the middle of deserts, and Tamara, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) platform and fintech unicorn.

The private credit market in the MENA region has witnessed remarkable growth, driven by the burgeoning tech ecosystem and increasing demand for alternative financing solutions.

According to recent data cited by Shorooq Partners, the MENA private credit market grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% over the past five years, signaling significant opportunities for expansion and investment.

“For mature companies and founders who have navigated the complexities of fundraising and attained the milestone of a completed Series A round, our tailored solutions provide a compelling avenue for sustained growth,” Shane Shin, founding partner at Shorooq Partners, said in the announcement.

In April last year, Shorooq closed its second early-stage Middle East and North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) venture fund at $150 million.

The Bedaya Fund II drew capital from a host of institutional investors, including DisruptAD (ADQ’s venture platform), Dubai Future District Fund, Bupa Insurance, and others.

As a venture investor, Shorooq Partners targets seed to Series A startups, writing cheque sizes of $1-8 million across the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), Egypt, and Pakistan. It targets sectors such as fintech, software as a service (SaaS), platform verticals, and digital assets such as Web 3.0.

The firm prefers to be the first cheque in these deals and takes a hands-on approach to partner with its founders. Over half of Shorooq Partners’ time is spent on portfolio management, shared Shin, who splits his time between Riyadh and Dubai.

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