Ibtikar Fund: Innovation Fund Investing In Youth

Bank Bank of Palestine
Client Ibtikar Fund: Investing in Youth
Location Palestine

With youth unemployment at 50% and with entrepreneurs not having early stage financing, Bank of Palestine stepped in to create a bridging mechanism to support investing in aspiring entrepreneurs. The bank along with several like-minded partners has established a $10 million Ibtikar Fund.

The objective of this fund is to invest selectively in Palestinian early stage innovative ventures (focusing primarily in the ICT sectors) that, through active participation of fund managers and a network of experienced mentors, leads to successful results and enables companies to grow and create returns to investors. The effects of this fund will go beyond the hoped-for returns to investors and will positively impact the Palestinian economy and create employment opportunities for young Palestinian university graduates.

Ibtikar Fund will be a game changer for Palestinian young entrepreneurs, as it closes a critical funding gap, and partners with existing accelerators, helping to support entrepreneurs to become more sustainable and enabling them to move away from donor dependency (in a space where private sector management is needed). The fund fills a void in the entrepreneurial eco system providing early stage start-ups with seed funding to graduate to angel and venture capital investments.

Investments to-date

  • Fadfid is an online platform that facilitates the connection between therapy-seeking customers and licensed psychotherapists from throughout the Middle East. Fadfid also has a strong pipeline of projects with NGOs working in distressed areas such as Gaza and Syria to provide funded therapy sessions.
  • Mashvisor seeks to automate and analyse nationwide real estate data to empower investors to find traditional and Airbnb investment properties and optimise their rental performance.

Accelerator-stage Investments

  • ArabiAuto is an Arabic-language car portal, providing content, videos and information for car owners and enthusiasts.
  • Worknizer is a website that provides a space to organise files, notes, links and to-do lists, in one place and through one account, making them available anytime, anywhere.
  • Wirez provides freelance storytellers (journalists) with a chance to profit from their independent work.
  • 5QHQH is the 9GAG for the Arab world. The social web and mobile app allows users to easily create and share jokes, comics, and other humor.