Media OutReach – 22 September 2022 –
eWTP Arabia Capital (eWTPA), a leading Saudi Arabia and China based growth stage venture fund, is decisively advancing in their mission to cooperate with Super Unicorns in the MENA region to help them reach a higher level.
Founded in 2019, eWTPA launched its first fund (Fund I) in same year, which is backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, Public Investment Fund (PIF) and eWTP Capital (Alibaba Group and Ant Finance Group). Within a short period of time, the US$400-million-fund has already invested into 16 companies across of digital infrastructure, core technology and platform, consumer and enterprise services which span enterprise services, cloud services, cyber security, fintech, cross-border supply chain, retail and consumer, e-commerce, logistics and digital entertainment and others. eWTPA’s goal is to work with its portfolio companies and together build a unique digital ecosystem in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.
Charged by these initial successes, eWTPA is currently pathing its way to expand more aggressively into the MENA market. Despite that there are fewer Unicorns in the MENA region compared to countries such as USA and China, eWTPA holds firm to their vision that the MENA market holds the strongest advantage of nurturing the growth of Unicorns, foreseeing great opportunities and potential within the region in the future. The characteristics of the MENA market analyzed by eWTPA are as follows:
Young and Tech Savvy Population: The MENA market covers more than 20 countries and a population base of hundreds of millions, consisting of young people with a high internet coverage rate and are active in online shopping.
Stable and Improving Economy: The Middle East is one of the regions with the highest per capita GDP in the world, where both the willingness and ability of consumption are maintained at a high level.
Nurturing Business Environment: In the “World Bank 2020 Doing Business Report”, most of the 190 countries and regions that are ranked high are in the Middle East, including United Arab Emirates (16), Bahrain (43), Saudi Arabia (62), Jordan (75), and Kuwait (83).
Politically Balanced and Stable: The core regions of the Middle East and North Africa have long-term balanced relations with China and the U.S. Also, the stable bilateral trade cooperation and investment relations with China for many years have laid the foundation for the activity of non-governmental trade cooperation.
Great Market Potential: The digital economy has a broad market space and huge development potential.
Ms. Jessica Wong, Founding & Managing Partner of eWTPA, “As the region itself is transitioning from closed to open, the MENA market has its own unique needs and scenarios. The strong demand for innovation is reflected in the optimization and iteration of the region’s existing foundation, which is why eWTPA believes that more emphasis is to be placed on mature and refined technologies and products.”
Given that the MENA market places more importance on the supply and improvement of core values within the economy and industry, unicorns in the region are more likely to be mature global companies migrating to the Middle East in the future, other than local startups, a scenario that is highly compatible with eWTPA’s buyout strategy.
Three years of layout and planning have led to eWTPA completing the establishment of a Saudi cloud computing service company with a registered capital of 238 million US dollars with Alibaba Cloud, STC, the largest telecom service provider in the Middle East and North Africa and other companies this year. This will represent the largest cloud computing service company in the Middle East and North Africa in the future. At the beginning of 2022, as an investor and strategic partner of Jitu Middle East, eWTPA also announced that they would invest 2 billion US dollars in the next phase to become the largest intelligent logistics industrial park in the Middle East and North Africa, eventually becoming a key replication project of the Saudi government today. These power plays are one of the key reasons eWTPA can assist super unicorns open up to emerging markets, land faster, and develop with more stability and certainty.
eWTPA recognizes that compared to other regions, the MENA market’s roadmap to development is quite unique. From a macro perspective, the MENA region is in the stage of economic transformation and digital upgrading, which brings considerable structural opportunities. “These opportunities are reflected in the region’s sectors of technology, representing important infrastructure for regional economic transformation and digital upgrading that fills a huge gap in the market. The region is also in essence the accumulation of China and Asia’s scientific and technological strength in the past, “said Ms Wong. eWTPA has built a two-way docking bridge through investment to enhance regional industries. This will drive regional economic growth and allow mature enterprises to create greater glory on the global stage.
Moving forward, eWTPA believes that their greatest challenge is how to make large enterprises and unicorns better understand the opportunities of the MENA market, what methods and strategies should be used to notify them that it is better to enter this market faster, and what strategies to employ to be successful when landing in this market. eWTPA affirms that the degree of localization is the key to the sustainable growth of enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa markets, where eWTPA is located, which is why the Private Equity firm’s heavy empowerment is reflected in helping enterprises strengthen their localization capabilities. Ultimately, these past few years have helped eWTPA gain an abundance of experience and knowledge, and eWTPA hopes to propel overseas enterprises take off across borders.
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