Cisco Joins European Investment Bank, King Abdullah Fund for Development, and Accelerator Technology Holdings in Fund's First Closing
AMMAN, Jordan 13 March 2014: Cisco today announced a $6 million investment in the Badia Impact Fund to support early-stage online and mobile innovation, health care technologies and services, e-commerce, consumer Internet and digital media services in Jordan.
This funding represents the first allocation from the $10 million venture capital investment commitment, initially outlined by Cisco in May 2011, targeted at small businesses that provide innovative products, services and solutions. Cisco's contribution is part of an overall funding contribution to the Badia Impact Fund jointly funded by Cisco, as an anchor investor, along with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the King Abdullah Fund for Development (KAFD), and the fund sponsor, Silicon Badia's parent company Accelerator Technology Holdings (ATH).
Highlights / Key Facts:
Badia Impact Fund is a venture capital fund dedicated to investment in early-stage start-ups in the technology sector in Jordan. It provides support, networks, and capital for entrepreneurs to achieve global impact.
In May 2011 Cisco announced that it would invest $10 million to seed a sustainable model of job-creation and economic development in Jordan. The venture capital commitment is aimed primarily at small businesses, and this initial $6 million investment is in line with Cisco's original outlined goal to engage in a multistakeholder collaboration to encourage further investment in the Jordanian economy from local, regional and global organizations.
Cisco has a long track record of driving IT market growth through investment in the innovation economy. Over the years, Cisco has been an active equity investor in major markets such as China, India, Israel, Palestine and Europe in addition to the United States. The company's nearly $2 billion investment portfolio to date reflects this.
Cisco is actively working throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to support job creation and economic growth by building ICT skills and talent within the workforce as well as providing greater access to capital and to educational opportunities. Developing and addressing the growing skills gap, as well as creating entrepreneurs and leaders of the future, is at the forefront of Cisco's mission for the MENA region. Cisco has several initiatives in the region to facilitate this, including the Cisco Networking Academy®.
Emile Cubeisy, Managing Partner, Silicon Badia
"We are delighted that Cisco has selected the Badia Impact Fund for the first funding allocation from its $10 million venture capital commitment in Jordan. Our goal has always been to nurture entrepreneurship by investing in early and growth stage information and communications technology (ICT) small and medium-sized enterprises located mainly in Jordan.With Jordan becoming a recognized ICT hub for the MENA region, our support for these entrepreneurial organizations will enable and empower them to compete globally alongside a 21st-century workforce."
Omar Razzaz, Chair of Board of Trustees, King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD)
"Technology is rapidly becoming a key enabler for reform in Jordan, and we are therefore very pleased to be strategically collaborating with Cisco, as well as others, to help create opportunities for young entrepreneurial organizations to compete on a global stage. We are hoping that this endeavour will help enhance national production in this sector and succeed in motivating local talent. The information and communications technology sector in Jordan has witnessed significant year-on-year growth, now forming nearly 13 percent of the country's GDP and therefore primed to be a key source for job opportunities as well as economic growth in the region."
M. Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President, European Investment Bank
"Badia Impact Fund is a very worthy recipient of this venture capital investment, given their focus on helping to develop and grow budding entrepreneurial organizations in Jordan.This is where public-private partnerships will be absolutely vital for driving economic growth and prosperity, and we are proud to have joined forces with strategic partners like KAFD and Cisco to help make a difference."
Alan Chelko, Business Development Manager, Cisco
"Investing in an established and geographically focused venture team like Accelerator Technology Holdings complements Cisco's global investment portfolio by providing Cisco visibility to the emerging Jordanian innovation ecosystem. This investment in the Badia Impact Fund will help catalyse and accelerate tech innovation in Jordan and take technology investment in Jordan to the next level by addressing a key funding gap for early-stage Jordanian tech companies."
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