Speed, the Lebanese tech accelerator based out of the Beirut Digital District (BDD), has announced that it has raised new funding from the Central Bank of Lebanon to run its acceleration cycles for the next 3 years. Startups that will be accelerated by Speed will continue to receive the same high quality support for a reduced equity of 5% instead of 10%.
The recent funding round was led by the Central Bank of Lebanon through Blom Bank, Bank Audi, and BankMed, Speed’s new shareholders, who injected Circular 331 funds in the accelerator for the upcoming 3 years.
Founded in 2015 by Lebanese investment funds and entrepreneurship support organizations Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Berytech Fund Il (BFII), IM Capital, Lebanon For Entrepreneurs (LFE), and Bader, Speed ran 5 acceleration cycles, invested in 34 startups who raised more than $2.2M, and created 500+ jobs in the country so far.
The accelerator offers software startups $30K in financial support, an intensive 3-month mentorship-driven program that includes in-house mentorship, mentorship from experts, workshops, access to a network of investors, and a free working space at BDD.
Startups also receive lifelong support from a network of 100+ local and international mentors, the opportunity to be sponsored by Speed for a 2-week immersion program in Silicon Valley in partnership with LebNet, technology perks worth $1M+ through the accelerator’s partnership with the Global Accelerator Network, and a fast-track referral to the 47 Techstars programs around the world. In exchange for this offering, Speed now receives 5% equity in each startup, which is half of the equity it took in previous cycles.
“With this new round of funding, we took the opportunity to update the accelerator’s brand identity, revamp our working space in BDD, and improve our startup offering by providing the founders with the same high quality acceleration program and financial support in exchange for only 5% equity in common shares, a better value for money than ever before”, said Sami Abou Saab, Speed’s CEO.
He added, “We would like to thank our founders for being pioneers in the Lebanese entrepreneurship scene and for taking the risk of creating the 1st startup accelerator in Lebanon following the launch of Circular 331. We would also like to thank the Lebanese Central Bank and our new shareholders for believing in Speed and in our ability to find and empower software startups in Lebanon. We are thrilled to have them onboard on this journey!”
Speed has launched the call for applications for its 6th acceleration program that will start in April. The application deadline is 22 March, 2019, and startups can apply here.