Egypt at an Inflection Point

The pounding heart of tech in the region
by Karim Hussein

Egypt has been buzzing with entrepreneurial activity in recent years with ever expanding new businesses and a rich set of supporting institutions and communities. Egypt offers some unique opportunities within the region driven by a large online consumer population, a highly competitive core technology talent pool, a large untapped opportunity in financial services for an under-banked population and rapidly expanding energy demands driving the need for clean technology.

Egypt’s entrepreneurial ecosystem enjoyed some early government support in the last 10 years through several government financed technology funds and government sponsored incubation programs. Since the 2011 revolution, these have been significantly augmented by a growing ecosystem of private startup events, accelerators, incubators, angel networks, venture capital funds and community enablers. There are now over 20 accelerators/incubators, two significant angel networks in Cairo and Alexandria, several local and regional VC funds (with over $70 million in committed capital in the last couple of years), regular startup events throughout the country and an annual regional and international startup summit bringing together emerging businesses, investors, support services and most importantly eager young talent looking for exceptional opportunities.

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Beyond Payment

Innovation has been, without question, one factor behind the excitement about entrepreneurship worldwide. From the microchip to the iPhone, the personal computer to virtual reality, new technologies have pushed progressed forward – and transformed our lives.

Among the biggest transformation: social mobility. Millions across the globe have moved out of poverty into the middle class. That is certainly true in Turkey and its surrounding region.

The biggest impact of the middle class? Spending.

The middle class has fueled growth in consumer products, in services, on the Internet – and, most importantly, in payments.

How people pay for goods and services has created the hottest startup opportunities.

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iyzico raises $13m in Series C round


We are pleased to announce iyzico raised USD13 million in a round led by Vostok Emerging Finance with participation from 212 Capital Partners and International Finance Corporation.

Vostok Emerging Finance is a part of Vostok New Ventures with more than USD600 million of Net Asset Value and investments including BlaBlaCar, Gett and Delivery Hero.

For press release and news links:

Full Press Release

http://tech.eu (English)

https://webrazzi.com (Turkish)

 

2017 Predictions

2016 was a difficult year. From where I sit in Istanbul, this is what I saw: stifling emerging market growth; a plummeting Turkish Lira (20% decline); terrorist attacks in Turkey and Europe; a worsening refugee crisis; a coup attempt.

Any one of these would dissuade even the most ambitious entrepreneur in the West from launching a business. Not here. Entrepreneurs in EMEA are tough. I am in awe of the resilience the entrepreneurs demonstrated throughout the year. They did not just survive; they evolved, grew stronger and entered new markets. As you can see here: Continue reading

Ne satıyoruz?

–Webrazzi ile eş zamanlı olarak yayımlandı–

 

PayPal 1 Temmuz’da Xoom’u USD890 milyona aldığını açıkladı.

Xoom

  • Bireylerin Amerika’dan gelişmekte olan ülkelere[1] kolay para transferini istedikleri platform üzerinden yapmasını sağlayan bir şirket
  • San Francisco ve Guatemala’da ofisleri var
  • 2015’in ilk çeyreğinde USD1.7 milyarın gönderilmesine aracılık etmiş

Benim dikkatimi çeken değerleme oldu; Xoom son 12 ayda USD20 milyon EBITDA yapmış[2].

Yani 45x’e yaklaşan bir EBITDA çarpanı ile değerlenip satılmış.

Diğer ödeme ve para transferi sağlayıcılarına baktığımızda, çok daha farklı, 2015 öngörüleri üzerinden 8-15x’lerde dolaşan EBITDA çarpanları görüyoruz.[3]

Xoom’un değerlemesi 2015 EBITDA tahminin 36x katı.

2001 senesinde kurulan, yıllık cirosu %30lar seviyesinde artan bir şirket nasıl bu fiyattan satılır diye düşünürken, bir süredir aklımda olan bir başka fikir daha da netleşti:

Biz bu coğrafyada zamanı satıyoruz.

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Recent Developments in Competition Law Enforcement in E-Commerce

Av. Bora Ikiler is a counsel at Moroğlu Arseven 

(Turkish version can be found below)

Lately, both global and local competition law enforcement is focusing on online markets. The recent press release of the Turkish Competition Authority about opening an investigation on the activities of Yemeksepeti and the press release about the statement of objections of the European Commission against Google, signals that e-commerce markets will be on the radar screen of the competition law enforcers for a near future.

 

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Startups, investments, & role of the government

Following decades of living in between Tokyo and New York and working at investment banks, I decided to move to Istanbul in 2010 to cultivate entrepreneurship and venture investments. The city, Turkey’s financial center, had started to emerge as a hub for tech startups, particularly in the e-commerce sector. Yet, there were no institutional investors – there was no Turkish venture capital.

Not long after I had landed in Istanbul did Kleiner Perkins, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, invest along with Tiger Global a combined $26 million in Trendyol, a Turkish version of Gilt Group. In a separate deal, eBay purchased local company GittiGidiyor.com for over $200 million. Indeed, the ease with which my partners and I set up our firm, 212, and raised our first fund of $30 million confirmed my supposition that investing in Turkey had promise.

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Solvoyo Cited Among the Best SaaS Cloud Service Companies in Europe by the Euro Cloud Congress

Oct 1, 2014: The Euro Cloud Congress, the premier gathering of the European cloud industry recognized Solvoyo as one of the best SaaS (software-as-a-service) services in the market.

According to Bernd Becker, President of Euro Cloud, “it is without question that Europe is very much dependent on the creativity of start-up companies such as Solvoyo who are bringing innovative future shaping cloud services to the European and international market.”

Taking the award on behalf of Solvoyo, Nilufer Durak, COO, commented “we are proud to be recognized as a company not just because we bring cool technology through the cloud but also because we create significant value for our customers. Euro Cloud plays an important role in showcasing companies like us throughout Europe.”

 

About Solvoyo

Solvoyo is an international enterprise software company based in Boston, MA, and Istanbul, Turkey. Solvoyo provide strategic, tactical, and operational supply chain planning in one platform giving companies the most comprehensive tool to maximize profits while minimizing costs.

Solvoyo is unique in being able to plan inventory, orders, and transportation concurrently. By optimizing across companies’ entire network, as opposed to individual silos, Solvoyo helps get business results and benefits that are multiples of traditional solutions.

 

About the Euro Cloud Congress and the Euro Cloud Award

The Euro Cloud Congress is an umbrella organization bringing together the leaders of the European cloud industry every year to further the cause of cloud adoption in 21 member countries. The Euro Cloud Awards recognizes the best European cloud service providers – winners of the national Euro Cloud awards in their respective countries.

Türkiye’deki İnternet Ekosistemine Bakış

 

Son günlerde konferanslarda veya toplantılarda devamlı olarak içinde bulunduğumuz ortamın kötüye gittiği, Türkiye’den başarılı bir girişimin çıkamayacağı ve bir zamanlar çok gözde olan e-ticaretin ticaret sektörünün bile hedeflenen noktaya ulaşamadan batacağı gibi yorumlar alıyorum ve arkasından da benim düşüncelerimi soruyorlar.

Her defasında bu işin bir kısa mesafe koşusu olmadığını, bir maraton olduğunu söylüyorum ve daha maratonun başında olduğumuzu hatırlatıyorum.

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