KAPITA launches the first Iraqi dedicated Angel Network

The Iraqi entrepreneurship ecosystem receives a major boost with the launch of the first Iraqi angel investors network

KAPITA is launching Iraq’s first Angel Investor Network – IAIN ( https://iraqangels.net/ ) that is dedicated to connecting startups with angel investors in order to develop the Iraqi entrepreneurship ecosystem. The network is sponsored by the German Government through GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation).

The network is the first attempt at an institutionalized investment vehicle for Iraqi startups. It helps founders access the knowledge, experience and connections they require, along with funding to scale and grow their business. The network is also technically supported by the World Bank.

It has some of the most prominent Iraqi angel investors including Shwan Taha and Mohammed Khudairi; both of whom have recently invested in the leading e-commerce platform in Iraq – Miswag. The network also includes Yazen Abu Galal, Amar Shubar and Ahmed Tabaqchali, in addition to a group of distinguished Iraqi entrepreneurs and leading businessmen.

Mujahid Waisi, the CEO and founder of KAPITA has played a key role in shaping up the ecosystem of Iraq. He commented:

“The Iraqi ecosystem has grown and expanded rapidly over the past few years, Kapita aims to support startups along their journey from incubation to funding.”

Ali Al Suhail, the Fund Manager at the Network and who has recently completed his MBA at London Business School added:

“Access to finance remains one of the key issues facing Iraqi entrepreneurs, the network will provide startups with an institutionalized path to access capital for all Iraqi entrepreneurs”.

Active investors in the Iraqi Angel Investors Network:

  • Shwan Ibrahim Taha, Chairman of Rabee Securities
  • Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner of Khudairi Group
  • Yazen Abu Gulal, Managing Partner at YAG Capital
  • Dr. Alaa J Mousa, CEO of EarthLink Telecommunications
  • Jaafar Al Musawi, CEO of Atlas Plast
  • Mohamed Al-Hakim, General Manager of Careem in Iraq and Jordan
  • Bahaaddin Salim, Co-founder and CEO of NASS Al-Iraq Holding
  • Hasan Al-Yassen, CEO of Baghdad Gate Services
  • Ali Tariq, Executive Director at Iraqi Private Banks League
  • Nour Sabri, Associate Partner at IBM
  • Omar Al-Handal, Asset Management Executive at Al-Handal International Group
  • Hadi Al-Haidari, CEO of Rawnaq Aldur Company
  • Ali Beyatli, Owner of Green Hills
  • Amar Shubar, Partner at Management Partner
  • Ahmed Tabaqchali, Economic Expert
  • Samer Abed, Managing Director at PetrolLog Technologies
  • Halat Aziz,
  • Rawaz Raouf, Commercial and Regulatory Advisor at Fanoos Telecom
  • Zaid Fadhel, Founder of Iraqi Cinema
  • Mohammed Shaikley, Senior Director of Investments and M&A at AMEA Power
  • Ammar Al Sharifi, Managing Director ALTAYM General Trading Ltd.

About Kapita

Kapita is a private sector development company that aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through investment, research, incubation/acceleration, and market development programs. It has recently announced the graduation of 20 startups from its incubation program “Orange Corners Baghdad” in collaboration with the Netherland government and is currently accepting applications for the next edition of the program. Kapita is also running an accelerator program in partnership with GIZ and AsiaCell that focuses on scaling and growing existing startups.

For more information visit, http://www.kapita.iq/

(Source: Kapita)

The post KAPITA launches Iraqi Angel Investor Network first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By John Lee.

Government measures designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Asiacell‘s results for the half year ended June 30, 2020.

The company reported revenues of QAR 1.9 billion in H1 2020, down 10% compared to the same period last year. As a result, EBITDA declined to QAR 828 million (H1 2019: QAR: 970 million) during the first half of 2020. Asiacell continued to manage costs to absorb the impact of revenue declines by optimising operational efficiency and controlling its marketing spend.

Asiacell’s customer base decreased by 4% to 13.3 million customers at the end of H1 2020, as movement restrictions and curfews were implemented across the country. To help keep communities connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, Asiacell offered its customers data bonus on recharge, doubled their quota on emergency credit and extended the validity of prepaid lines.

The company continued to prepare for the launch of 4G as the Government committed to allow operators to launch LTE services in 2021.

(Source: Ooredoo)

By John Lee.

Mobile phone service Asiacell has reported revenue growth or nearly 2 percent in the first quarter of this year.

In its results for the quarter ended 31 March 2020, the company said:

Asiacell reported revenue growth to QAR 1.09 billion in Q1 2020, up from QAR 1.07 billion in Q1 2019.  The company maintained a healthy EBITDA margin of 44% in Q1 2020, while EBITDA grew to QAR 473 million, marginally up from QAR 471 million reported for the same period last year.  

“Asiacell’s customer base increased by 5% to reach almost 15 million customers at the end of Q1 2020 as the company supported the government’s calls to stay at home by delivering SIMs & scratch cards to customers’ doors through mobile buses. Customers also benefited from extended payment plans during the period to help ease the burden on their personal finances.   

“The company continued to support communities across Iraq by donating to the Iraqi government and to the government of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region to manage the current crisis as well as extending an education campaign across its social media channels and through recorded call announcements encouraging citizens and residents to stay at home.

(Source: Ooredoo)

Asiacell reported revenue growth of 3% to QAR 4.6 billion in 2019, despite a flat customer base of 14.2 million customers.

The company maintained a healthy EBITDA margin of 45% in 2019 while EBITDA declined slightly from QAR 2.1 billion in 2018 to QAR 2.0 billion in 2019.

Asiacell upgraded its entire network to support 3G, achieving the widest 3G coverage in the country in 2019.

Committed to bringing connectivity to all communities it serves, Asiacell restored service to liberated regions and further expanded to the south of the country.

(Source: Ooredoo)

By John Lee.

Asiacell has reportedly been ranked as the best telecom company in Iraq for 2019 at the International Finance Award ceremony in Dubai.

According to a press release on PR Newswire, the award was made for the company’s network quality and the development of its infrastructure.

(Source: PR Newswire)

By John Lee.

The streaming video on demand (SVOD) service StarzPlay has reportedly entered into a partnership with Asiacell to provide streaming services to all Asiacell’s ‘Unlimited’ monthly package subscribers.

Commenting on the partnership, Raghida Abou-Fadel, Vice President of Sales & Business Development at StarzPlay, is quoted as saying:

“This latest partnership with Iraq’s Asiacell underlines our commitment to this strategy, offering enhanced customer service through hard bundled packages for subscribers. We’re also pleased to announce our continued penetration of what is a fast growing and important consumer market as we progress in achieving our expansion plans across the Middle East and North Africa region.”

(Source: broadcastprome.com)

By John Lee.

Asiacell Iraq has reported stable revenues of QAR 3.3 billion for the nine-month period, and a growing customer base, up 6% to 14 million customers at 9M 2019.

In its results for the first nine months of 2019, the company said:

“While EBITDA margin was strong at 45%, EBITDA was down 8% to QAR 1.5 billion at 9M 2019, due to an increase in costs related to improvement in network quality, network expansion, and enhanced sales and marketing activities associated with the increase in customer base and data traffic. “

(Source: Ooredoo)

(Picture: Faruk Mustafa Rasool, Chairman of Asiacell)

By John Lee.

Asiacell Iraq has reported stable revenues of QAR 3.3 billion for the nine-month period, and a growing customer base, up 6% to 14 million customers at 9M 2019.

In its results for the first nine months of 2019, the company said:

“While EBITDA margin was strong at 45%, EBITDA was down 8% to QAR 1.5 billion at 9M 2019, due to an increase in costs related to improvement in network quality, network expansion, and enhanced sales and marketing activities associated with the increase in customer base and data traffic. “

(Source: Ooredoo)

(Picture: Faruk Mustafa Rasool, Chairman of Asiacell)

The ISIL conflict displaced 6 million people in Iraq, disrupted the national economy and limited employment opportunities for citizens.

Sixty per cent of jobs in Iraq are in the private sector, within Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); very large numbers of those businesses experienced loss as a result of the conflict and need support to rebuild.

In Fallujah, for example, an International Organization for Migration (IOM) market assessment found that 69 per cent of construction businesses and 66 per cent of food-related businesses saw their workshops looted or burned between 2014 and 2017. Mosul and numerous other areas also showed high levels of damage and limited access to finance—challenges that EDF is designed to help businesses overcome.

On Monday (05/08), IOM Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with telecommunications company Asiacell to support innovation under the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) — a livelihoods programme that contributes to economic recovery and private sector revitalization through tailored support to Small and Medium Enterprises.

The innovation component (EDFi) supports early-stage tech businesses and tech start-ups in Iraq that can contribute to the local economy and create jobs for young people in the tech sector.

“We strongly believe that the engagement of the private sector is a necessary condition for successful and sustainable economic recovery and job creation,” said IOM Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “IOM Iraq looks forward to a long, productive collaboration with Asiacell, as we work to expand job creation and improve economic opportunities across Iraq.”

“Today marks the start of a strategic partnership between Asiacell and IOM that will bring the EDF-I into effect in Iraq,” added Asiacell CEO Amer Sunna. “Asiacell looks forward to contributing to the development of youth skills and capabilities, and setting the foundation for a powerful and sustainable economy.”

EDF aims to restore essential economic infrastructure by providing financial capital to SMEs in economic sectors that were successful prior to the conflict but suffered loss and damage and have a high demand for labour. By targeting key sectors and providing necessary funding, the EDF encourages rapid but also large-scale job creation. The fund has received hundreds of applications since the pilot phase was launched in September 2018, and 142 business grants have been approved to date.

“After the liberation of Mosul, I sold a small plot of land that I owned and tried my best to reopen my factory,” explained Moufaq Ahmed Mohamed, an EDF beneficiary and owner of an oxygen plant. “I started with only two workers. Later, I received a grant from IOM which enabled me to buy a generator which is crucial to my work.”

“[Before that] I frequently lost hours of work due to sudden power outages,” he continued. “This generator was a boon to my factory; I have been able to produce more, enabling me to hire more people and expand to 11 workers — which means feeding 11 families. This makes me very happy; this kind of support for the private sector contributes to the revival and rebuilding of Mosul.”
EDF forms part of IOM’s work in support of the people and Government of Iraq (GOI) to promote sustainable recovery across the country.

IOM Iraq’s EDF is supported by the USA Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM); the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO); KfW, the German Development Bank; the Government of the Netherlands; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

(Source: IOM)