Sinbad Ventures Helps Arab Startups with Global Potential Reach Silicon Valley
Sinbad Ventures is a venture capital fund that focuses on early stage internet and mobile startups from Arabia looking to hit the international market, with the aim to help them grow and secure the next round from international VCs. The fund, which not only focuses on the consumer web, but on enterprise as well, plans to invest in 7 startups every year in a standard term sheet of $500K in exchange for 25% equity.
These companies have to have a global appeal, explains Ahmad Takatkah, Managing Partner at Sinbad Ventures. “Local funds focus exclusively on companies that are targeting the local Arab markets, like Egypt and the KSA. There are lots of companies that have global products but can’t find funds locally and as a result seek them abroad in the US and Europe. That’s the gap we’re trying to fill.”
How it works
Entrepreneurs with an existing startup send a 5 minute video that introduces their company and the team behind it. Founders of the chosen startups will later be invited for a full day pitch where they will discuss their vision and plans, and if they’re selected, Sinbad Ventures will give out a term sheet of $500K at the end of the day in exchange for 25% equity. “No negotiations, no valuations, and no formal business plans. It's up to the founders to decide how long this amount will last.”
“We will not focus on low hanging fruits or traditional business models (…) we want entrepreneurs to think aggressively and create startups that compete on the global level,” Ahmad continues “and we will help them raise the next round from Silicon Valley.”
Within the first 3 month, the startups will be taken on a Silicon Valley Tour to attend a demo event or a training workshop where they will meet with peer entrepreneurs and find mentors and advisors.
Additionally, Sinbad will also use its network of relationships and connect them with VCs there as potential next round investors.
“There is more risk with competing globally,” acknowledges Ahmad, but it is equally critical to support both localization and globalization to grow the Arab web.