The 27 million USD fund will invest in startups that are utilizing latest technologies such as Blockchain, AI, smart buildings, cities and more
Saudi Arabian, Watheeq Financial services has launched the first MENA Venture Capital Fund that concentrates on the property technology (Proptech) sector,. The Fund will reach its initial close by the end of the 3rd quarter, 2021. The Watheeq Proptech VC Fund “W Proptech VC Fund” is a private closed-ended venture capital fund licensed by the Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia “CMA” and complies with Shariah principles.
The W Proptech VC Fund focuses on investing in start-ups with a global scale that are leveraging technology such as Blockchain, AI, IOT and others, in the real estate sector while meeting Shariah compliance standards. Additionally, the Fund aims to back talented founders who are building unique products that solve global market problems. The W Proptech VC Fund is structured and managed by Watheeq Financial Services, with the support of highly experienced representatives in the real estate and technology sectors, acting as board members and investment partners.
The SAR 100-million Fund, ( 27 million USD) the first of its kind in the region, bridges the gap between the MENA region and the rest of the world by opening up new market opportunities, and transferring knowledge to the real estate sector.
Khaled Zaidan, Managing Partner of the Fund and Head of Alternative Investments at Watheeq, says: “We are investing in rapidly-growing global scale startups that are visionary, potential market leaders who are disrupting the traditional real estate markets and stimulating eco-friendly lifestyles. Venture capitalists are jumping into Proptech, and we are thrilled to be pioneering this transformation from KSA to the region and across the globe.”
“At least 50% of the portfolio companies chosen by the fund operate in the KSA market as we consider Proptech to be the ultimate solution to fulfilling the Kingdom’s 2030 vision through diversification of income and job creation,” says Zaidan.
The Fund team manages investments worth billions of Saudi Riyals in various real estate and venture capital asset types in local and global markets and has 100+ years of combined experience.
“Our experience in real estate and investments gives the fund an advantage unrivalled by generalist VC firms.” says Abdullah Al Muhareb, Fund board member and CEO at Watheeq.
“We are delighted to have raised funds in record time and to be in a position to lead the industry’s adoption of the next generation of technologies,” says Hisham Kassim, investment committee member and Legal Counsel for the Fund. In recent times, climate change, population increases, and even the pandemic, has accelerated the adoption of technology used by the real estate and construction industries, which were forced to go digital amid global lockdowns. However, real estate hasn’t met its tech-potential yet. Even though the real estate sector is the largest investment asset class in the world (reported as USD 9.6 trillion globally in 2019), it still under-utilises technology,” says Zaidan.
Nonetheless a new era is emerging with Proptech as the digital transformation and innovation in the real estate value chain begins to disrupt the industry. Smart cities, smart buildings, real estate analytics, blockchain, and virtual viewing technology are just some of the exciting trends.
Since the start of 2021, over $2.55 billion has been invested in Proptech , a strong indication of Proptech’s potential.