Lebanese venture capitalist fund cashes in on three start-ups
Since 2008, Berytech Fund has invested in 15 ventures focusing on technology companies in Lebanon with proven commercial viability. (Berytech.org)
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A leading Lebanese venture capital fund announced Tuesday that it has sold its stake in three of the 15 portfolio companies with a 14.4 percent profit.
“Berytech Fund I, a venture capital fund, founded in 2008 as part of the Berytech ecosystem, declares its exit from 3 of its portfolio companies and a 14.4 percent dividend. Since 2008, the fund invested in 15 ventures focusing on technology companies in Lebanon with proven commercial viability. Investment tickets ranged $100,000 to $1,200,000 per transaction,” the statement by the fund said.
It added that most of the portfolio companies have shown considerable growth.
“Berytech Fund I, eight years after its formation, is approaching the end of its investment cycle. Many of its portfolio companies have shown substantial growth and offer excellent exit opportunities to the fund with a good return on investment,” the statement said.
Berytech explained that the initial objective of the fund is to invest in Lebanese startup companies in the technology field, help them grow and exit its investment within five to six years’ time.
Berytech is the first facility in Lebanon to offer facilities and incentives to startup companies with special emphasis on the technology and ecosystems fields. It is made up of two parts: a Technological Pole located in Mar Roukoz and the Technology & Health Pole located in Beirut.
“In addition to its commercial aspect, the fund had a major social impact mission contributing to the Lebanese economy’s boost through entrepreneurship and job creation. We actively contributed to the establishment of [Central Bank] Circular 331 and we have learned tremendously from our first experience which led us to create Berytech Fund II,” the fund’s chair, Maroun Chammas, said in the statement.
Sami Beydoun, the managing partner of the fund, said the exits were through merger, acquisition, management buyout or commercial sale.
“Once the Lebanese capital market becomes more mature, a listing on the electronic stock exchange may become another possibility,” he said.
The three companies that exited the fund are PayPlug, Active Identity and Cook & Eat Lebanese.
For PayPlug, a fintech company, “Berytech fund exited its investment at 3 times the initial cost through selling to existing shareholders looking to increase their stake in the company,” the statement said. For Active Identity, a radio-frequency identification company, “the fund sold its shares to the founders at 2 times the initial investment in a management buy-out transaction.”
And for Cook & Eat Lebanese, an online food recipe company, “the fund exited its investment at cost through a merger & acquisition transaction.”
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