April 2019 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s April newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the past month, please CLICK HERE.

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Endeavor Jordan’s DealMakers Convenes Investors and Entrepreneurs from 15 Countries

Endeavor Jordan’s fifth DealMakers event convened participants from 15 countries for two days of networking activities connecting top local, regional, and international investors with the region’s most promising entrepreneurs. Held March 11-12, the event created the ideal environment for investors and business owners to collectively maximize the investment and divestment potential of startups and scale-ups in the Arab world, with a focus on Jordan. DealMakers was sponsored by the Arab Bank.

Welcoming the guests, Endeavor Jordan Managing Director Reem Goussous praised the synergy between local entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem players, and highlighted the collaborative work being done to overcome the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Jordan. She highlighted the new developments pertaining to access to finance through the newly established investment and finance funds, led by the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF). On access to markets, Goussous stressed that this remains a main obstacle for startups and scaleups in Jordan, and added, “While Jordan is used as a launching pad into outside markets, Jordan continues to be a very lucrative place for any entrepreneur wanting to expand their backend operations in an efficient and effective manner.”

The event which was attended by H.E. Muthana Gharaibeh, Minister of ICT, and Adrian Garcia-Aranyos, President of Endeavor Global, has also witnessed great presence of incubators, accelerators and key players in the entrepreneurial and investment sphere in Jordan and the region. Also present was an outstanding lineup of over 75 investors representing 45 Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds, and 25 Angel Investors, including an official delegation from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and 90 entrepreneurs from 74 startups.

Countries participating from abroad were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Argentina, Lebanon, UAE, Palestine, India, Canada, Greece, Turkey, Qatar, and Austria.

Dr. Mazin AlZaidi, Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at SAGIA said, “DealMakers brought together the most prominent players in the entrepreneurial and investment scene in both Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We now seek to facilitate the expansion of Jordanian companies to the Saudi market and will provide full support to them.”

The richly curated agenda of DealMakers included a number of workshops for the entrepreneurs and angel investors, as well as discussions on the investment state of affairs in MENA, Jordan’s position among other countries in the region, and the important role investors have in accelerating the growth of companies and opening new markets. The agenda featured presentations of the new funds by the ISSF, the Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund, and BeyondCapital. Endeavor Global partner EY also led a workshop on their 7 Drivers of Growth framework for entrepreneurs in attendance.

Commenting on Arab Bank’s sponsorship of this event, Miss Randa Sadik, Arab Bank’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, stated that this initiative organized by Endeavor represents an ideal platform to connect entrepreneurs from Jordan and the region with main investors towards optimizing the growth and scalability potential of start up companies both regionally and internationally. Miss Sadik added that holding such an event in Jordan reflects the prominent position the Kingdom enjoys with regard to entrepreneurship in the region. She highlighted that Arab Bank’s sponsorship of this event comes as part of the Bank’s constant commitment towards supporting entrepreneurs through stimulating the entrepreneurial ecosystem which plays an instrumental role in achieving sustainable economic and social development.

Gaston Frydlewski, CEO & Founder of Hickies (Argentina), said “Experiencing the positive energy and quality of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan first hand was a confirmation that Hickies has to expand to the MENA region. The infrastructure is in place. Endeavor Jordan has become a lighthouse for the entrepreneurs and investors in the region and confirms the impact that it can have in developing ecosystems.”

Endeavor Jordan’s mission is to catalyze sustainable, long-term economic growth and support the creation of employment opportunities in the local market by accelerating high-impact entrepreneurial companies that have a positive and tangible impact on society. Endeavor offers entrepreneurs support through its global network, access to an unrivaled mentorship network, as well as other tools that are essential to achieving entrepreneurial success.

Executive Change Signals Next Stage of Scale-Up for Kenya’s Twiga Foods

Nairobi-based Twiga Foods has announced that co-founder Peter Njonjo, previously the most senior regional executive at Coca-Cola Africa, will assume the role of Twiga’s new full-time CEO. Njonjo will rejoin his co-founder Grant Brooke, who will take on a new executive role in the company, one of the first to be selected by Endeavor Kenya.

Peter Njonjo will assume the role of Twiga Foods CEO

Njonjo’s decision is a significant move in Africa, where executives have traditionally not been willing to leave the security of Fortune 500 corporations to join entrepreneurial businesses. As Twiga rapidly expands its proprietary mobile technology platform that links food producers with retail outlets, it is expected to benefit from Njonjo’s experience managing Coca Cola’s sophisticated distribution systems across 30+ countries in Africa.

“If my leadership was the period in which Twiga was proving a point that there’s a better way to build a safe and secure market for food distribution, Peter’s leadership will be about institutionalizing this way of doing business and scaling it,” said outgoing Brooke. “Starting new ventures is really my skill-set and passion, while proficiently running institutions is Peter’s skill set and passion. Twiga has an aggressive growth plan and this transition leverages on our respective expertise.”

Twiga Foods was selected by Endeavor at the 74th International Selection Panel in September, 2017. The platform currently serves over 17,000 farmers in 20 countries across Africa. More recently the company has also added packaged consumer goods to its distribution network.  In addition to his role as a co-founder of Twiga and previous position at Coca Cola Africa, Njonjo has also served as a member of Endeavor Kenya’s board.

Careem Acquired by Uber in Milestone Deal

Ride-hailing giant Uber announced plans to acquire Middle East counterpart Careem for record $3.1 billion — the largest tech scale-up exit in the Middle East, and the largest for a ride-hailing company globally. Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, while continuing to operate independently with Mudassir Sheikha, an Endeavor Entrepreneur, remaining CEO.

In an open letter to Careem employees announcing the deal, Sheikha hailed the acquisition as an “exciting milestone for our purpose, our vision, and our region,” citing the potential of combined scale and resources to improve the lives of more people in the region, advance digital technology and its impact in the MENA region, and put the emerging entrepreneurship ecosystem on the map for regional and foreign investors.

Careem Co-founders Mudassir Sheikha, Abdulla Elyas, and Magnus Olsson | Photo by Kieran Kesner

Co-founded in 2012 by Sheikha and fellow Endeavor Entrepreneurs Magnus Olsson and Abdulla Elyas, Careem quickly rose to become the leading car booking app in the region, with a footprint in 120 cities across 15 countries today. True to the values Sheikha cites, the company’s scale has had widespread impact on the region, not only transforming transportation but creating a steady stream of high-quality jobs — over 1 million so far — with professional training, career advancement opportunities, and widespread benefits such as health insurance and maternity leave.

Read more about Careem’s job creation in Endeavor’s Faces of Impact series.

It’s qualities such as Careem’s think-big mentality, ability to scale, and emphasis on paying it forward locally in the communities where it operates, that led to the company’s selection into Endeavor’s network in 2018 — and fuel optimism among the entrepreneurship community about the magnitude of the impact that Careem, and its acquisition, will have in the MENA region.

“The start-up scene leans too often toward hyperbole, but it is hard to overstate the importance of the Careem and Uber transaction,” said Chris Schroeder, an investor in the region and Endeavor mentor, in an opinion piece. “We often refer to the ‘PayPal Effect’ in the United States – when the rise, success and sale of PayPal lit up the imaginations of aspiring founders and launched hundreds of spin-offs from their own …  With the recent news, women and men across the region will say, ‘I will do this too.’”

“Uber has achieved great success in the region and shares our ambitions to have a positive impact in the communities we serve. We’re excited about what we can achieve together,” Careem announced on their website. “We are still Careem, driven by our purpose—to simplify and improve lives and create an awesome organization that inspires.”


Endeavor Selects 15 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 9 Countries at the 86th International Selection Panel in Cairo, Egypt

Endeavor selected 15 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 12 companies from 9 countries at the 86th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Cairo, Egypt, held March 13-15, 2019, and hosted by Endeavor Egypt. Endeavor now supports 1,840 entrepreneurs leading 1,153 companies in 34 markets around the world.

The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who demonstrate the potential to leverage Endeavor’s resources and mentorship to create large-scale wealth and jobs, and are committed to reinvesting their time and money in their local entrepreneurship ecosystems to help others take off and make an impact.

Over the course of the three-day event, panelists drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of board members, mentors, supporters, and experienced Endeavor Entrepreneurs, interview entrepreneur candidates about their businesses, evaluating them on their potential for high-impact growth, and deliberating on which candidates should be selected to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Panelists must vote unanimously for a candidate to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur.

“The entrepreneurs and companies selected at the Cairo ISP are a true testament to Endeavor’s founding belief that high-impact founders are innovating and scaling up all around the world,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Thank you to members of Endeavor’s global network who donated their time and expertise as panelists, and congratulations to the newest Endeavor Entrepreneurs!”

Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs gain access to comprehensive customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key needs.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of impact. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 1.5 million jobs, generated $15 billion in revenue in 2018, and help build sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor thanks Inertia, Baraka Retail Group and Egypt Ventures for their generous sponsorship of the ISP.

In 2019, ISPs will be held in Madrid (April 24-26), Tokyo (July 1-3), Quito (August 5-7), Atlanta (September 23-25), Istanbul (October 21-23), and Riviera Maya (December 11-13). For more information on these events, please contact ISP@endeavor.org.

Learn more about the companies and entrepreneurs selected in Cairo below:


Entrepreneurs: Georgi Georgiev and Angel Ivanov
Company: Skapto
Description: Skapto is Bulgaria’s largest gourmet burger chain serving handcrafted, American-inspired burgers in a fast-casual dining environment. Skapto’s restaurants offer an imaginative menu of cooked-to-order burgers, made fresh from house-made ingredients and topped with Skapto’s secret spices and sauces. Skapto currently operates three full-service restaurants and two over-the-counter locations throughout Bulgaria, in addition to one food truck and two dark kitchens for delivery. Skapto has won numerous awards for product excellence and earned the #1 and #3 rankings for two of its restaurants in Sofia on TripAdvisor (out of 1.2K+ restaurants), and the #1 restaurant spot in Plovdiv (out of 300).


Entrepreneur: Ameer Sherif
Company: WUZZUF & Forasna (BasharSoft)
Description: BasharSoft connects Egyptian job-seekers with career opportunities through two platforms, Wuzzuf and Forasna, which cater to both the white collar and blue collar labor markets. BasharSoft works with over 27,000 employers and over 2 million job seekers and has facilitated 250,000 job placements to date.

Entrepreneurs: Marwan Kenawy, Momtaz Moussa and Ayman Essawy
Company: Dsquares
Description: With consumer preference in the Middle East shifting towards cost efficiency and away from brand allegiance, advertisers seek solutions to cultivate customer loyalty. Dsquares offers two end-to-end, white-label customer loyalty programs that enable brands to reward customers through loyalty points and promotions.


Entrepreneur: John Tsioris
Company: InstaShop
Description: InstaShop’s is an online grocery shopping marketplace that gives traditional retailers access to an untapped revenue channel, while consumers gain access to convenient on-demand delivery from their favorite local grocery stores. InstaShop allows users to shop at over 400 local supermarkets directly from their mobile or computer and receive their order at home within 30-60 min or at a scheduled time. InstaShop’s user-friendly interface and dedicated customer service team has made one of the highest-rated apps in the space.


Entrepreneur: Giorgio Tacchia
Company: Chili
Description: Chili is a comprehensive entertainment-centered marketplace for movie and TV fans, offering audiences the latest information and articles on upcoming films, geo-localized cinema ticket booking, a catalog of thousands of first-release digital titles on-demand from any internet-enabled device, and a marketplace of original film merchandise. Chili counts five major Hollywood production studios as shareholders and partners, and currently serves more than 2M users across five major European markets as it continues rapid international growth.

Entrepreneur: Riccardo Ocleppo
Company: Docsity
Description: Docsity is an online, global platform for students to access and share resources with their peers to collectively do better in their university classes. Founded in 2012, Docsity provides students with quality resources that are inexpensive and accessible through a seamless web-based platform. Utilizing its global user-base of over 6 million students across Italy, Spain, Brazil, Russia, India and LatAm, Docsity specializes in recruitment and promotion for universities, providing tailored marketing solutions to boost awareness and enrollment rates.


Entrepreneur: Tamer Al-Masri
Company: Jobedu
Description: Jobedu is a Jordanian pop-culture fashion brand that designs and manufactures its own collection as well as “Arabized” products for global entertainment companies like Disney, Warner Bros, Universal Studios, and Viacom.


Entrepreneurs: Elie Nasr
Company: FOO
Description: With a 65% mobile penetration rate and 86% of adults categorized as unbanked, the Middle East FinTech market is ripe for innovation. FOO is a B2B FinTech provider, enabling banks and startups to process their end customers’ peer-to-peer payments, overseas remittance payments, bill payments, and loan applications. It also provides an online digital banking platform for any financial institution seeking digitization.

Entrepreneur: Nadine Haram
Company: Proximie
Description: Proximie is a telehealth platform for medical professionals, hospitals, universities, and surgical associations to share information through publications and live streams of surgeries. The medical associations and medical schools purchases the platform through a SaaS, per-user, subscription model for surgical guidance, continued learning, sharing of best practices, and enhancing the surgical training experience for students and doctors alike. Proximie also sells its license to medical device companies that wish to train their customers on how to use the devices. Rather than conducting on-site training, the hospitals purchase the platform as part of the medical device training package to virtually train the end-user on using the device.


Entrepreneur: Bukky George
Company: HealthPlus
Description: With one in five medicines in circulation estimated to be substandard or fake, HealthPlus Group brings Nigerians pharmacy and beauty products they can trust. Between HealthPlus, a chain of pharmacies, and CasaBella, a chain of beauty stores; the company has almost 90 retail outlets across Nigeria, employs over 750 people and is the largest employer of pharmacists who dispense medicines, provide counseling and perform free health screenings. By protecting the strict integrity of its supply chain, and self-regulating by adopting world-class standards; HealthPlus provides consumers with safe, affordable and convenient access to medicines and related products. HealthPlus has become a household name and is transforming retail pharmacy in Nigeria with the launch of an e-commerce platform and the set-up of a pharma distribution center which will be a model for drug distribution across Nigeria.


Entrepreneur: Abdulmajeed AlYemni
Company: Salasa
Description: Salasa is a leading Third Party Logistics Company providing e-commerce fulfillment service in the Middle East. We offer total solutions for your e-commerce needs and manage your complete logistics value chain. Our fulfillment services offer a cost-effective way to store your products without adding to overhead costs. Salasa provides superior pick-up and pack services with multiple shipping options that keep your products moving fast while reducing operational expenses. Salasa provides you with the peace of mind to focus on the task ahead: taking your e-commerce to the next level.


Entrepreneur: Octavi Uyà
Company: Nautal
Description: Nautal is a boat rental marketplace that allows vacationers to browse over 24,000 options, from sailboats to yachts to houseboats for trips lasting from half a day to a week. Most boats on the platform belong to European charter fleets. Through identity and registration verification, Nautal guarantees that boats on its platform are as advertised. Recently, the company acquired Greek competitor, Incrediblue, which will function as its luxury brand. With this acquisition, Nautal now features over 90% of European charter yachts.

March 2019 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s March newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the past month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of the page.

Endeavor Launches in Northwest Arkansas to Support High-Impact Entrepreneurs and Drive Local Economic Development

Endeavor, a global organization that supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs through connecting them with talent, capital, and a worldwide peer and mentor network, is announcing the launch of a new office in Northwest Arkansas, to aid growth and economic development in the region.

Launching with a $2 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation, Endeavor Northwest Arkansas (NWA) will leverage the strong engagement and backing from local business leaders to support the founders and companies in the region that have passed through the initial start-up phase and who demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.

“Entrepreneurship helped build Northwest Arkansas and continues to transform it today,” said Tom Walton, chair of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Committee. “Endeavor will build on that legacy by providing the most promising startups in the region opportunities to scale up, contributing to our efforts to grow local businesses and attract new industries.”

Founded in 1997, Endeavor has helped 1,800 of these entrepreneurs build more than 1,100 companies in 34 markets throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, which generated combined revenues of $15 billion in 2017. To date, companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 1.5 million jobs in their local economies, and often go on to mentor and invest in the next generation of founders.

“We’re thrilled to launch Endeavor in Northwest Arkansas to connect high-impact entrepreneurs in the Heartland with a truly global network of peer and mentor support,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “With invaluable backing from the Walton Family Foundation, we’re confident Endeavor Northwest Arkansas will help strengthen the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and economy.”

Northwest Arkansas is on track to become a hub of innovation for startup ventures. According to the 2018 State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report jointly prepared by the Northwest Arkansas Council and The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, there were 1,364 new businesses established from 2012 to 2017. An ecosystem of support is evolving with growing initiatives from private funds, the public sector, and surrounding universities. The region is also home to a talent pool from a nationally-ranked university, as well as Fortune 500 companies with strong local ties and an interest in reinvesting.

Endeavor sees enormous opportunity for its model to address some of the key challenges Northwest Arkansas – like many U.S. regions – faces, such as the exodus of highly educated individuals to cities with larger entrepreneurial support systems. Endeavor NWA will focus on selecting high-impact entrepreneurs and businesses from multiple sectors that have the potential to scale significantly and reinvest back into the country by mentoring and providing financial support for successive generations of entrepreneurs. The office will concentrate on providing these entrepreneurs with access to capital, talent and a worldwide network mentor and peer connections.

Endeavor NWA is anchored by a strong founding Board of Directors, chaired by Elise Mitchell, Founder and Chairman of Mitchell Communications. The Board also includes: Carl George, Co-CEO/President of George’s Inc.; Ashley Hubka, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Corporate Development at Walmart; Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods; and Clete Brewer, Managing Partner at New Road Capital Partners.

“This region’s entrepreneurial heritage is a rich one indeed,” said Elise Mitchell, Endeavor NWA Board Chair. “Many of us were fortunate to build companies here. But the obstacles entrepreneurs face in smaller markets are significant. Endeavor NWA will allow us to provide fast-scaling entrepreneurs with resources that can further accelerate their growth and enable them to have an even greater impact on the region.”

Endeavor announced its Northwest Arkansas office will be led by Canem Arkan. Canem was formerly a managing director at Axonic Capital, and prior to that spent the majority of her career at Goldman Sachs.

 Endeavor NWA will be Endeavor’s sixth launch in the U.S. since 2012, when the organization first began exploring the possibility of entering the country. After years of assuming that major success of cities such as San Francisco, New York City, and Boston meant that American entrepreneurs did not need the range of networking, mentoring, and support services provided by Endeavor, it became clear that many cities, especially those in the Heartland, lacked strong entrepreneurship ecosystems despite being home to immense talent pools. Today, Endeavor supports entrepreneurs in Miami, Detroit, Louisville, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico.

For entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor in Northwest Arkansas, please connect with the team at nwarkansas@endeavor.org.

About Endeavor

Endeavor is a 21 year-old organization that is leading the global movement to drive long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped 1,800 of these entrepreneurs build more than 1,000 companies across 30 markets, which generated combined revenues of $15 billion in 2017. To date, companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 1.5 million jobs, and often go on to mentor and invest in the next generation of founders, or serve on the boards of Endeavor offices. To learn more, visit www.endeavor.org.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2017, the foundation awarded more than $535 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Endeavor NWA
Canem Arkan

Walton Family Foundation
Luis Gonzalez


Sheraa and Endeavor Sign MOU to Strengthen Entrepreneurship in the UAE

Keeping with their commitment to support entrepreneurs and build key networks across the region, the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Endeavor, a global non-profit pioneering in the high-impact entrepreneurship movement, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to ensure alignment and closer collaboration of both parties.

The MoU was signed by Najla Al-Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, and Badr Jafar, Chairman of Endeavor UAE and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, in a bid to establish collaborative mechanisms, enabling both Sheraa and Endeavor, to support high growth scaelable startups at different stages of their journey.

Sheraa CEO Najla Al-Midfa, and Endeavor UAE Chairman Badr Jafar after signing the MOU in Dubai.

Najla Al-Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “Sheraa and Endeavor have a shared mission to support entrepreneurs as they grow their global impact. This partnership enables us to work together to cultivate a pool of high-impact startups that contribute to innovation and job creation, and would eventually gain access to Endeavor’s prestigious network. As our partnership continues to evolve, we look forward to seeing this collaboration lead to a thriving, accessible entrepreneurship ecosystem and increased job creation across the region.”

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Chairman of Endeavor UAE said, “Scale-ups can significantly contribute to the economies within which they operate, but their needs for support are different from other SMEs given the unique challenges they face.

Sheraa has been committed to supporting early-stage startups and Endeavor UAE is proud to be partnering with them to build on their work and continue to support entrepreneurs as they rapidly grow their businesses to the next level. By giving entrepreneurs access to an unparalleled global network of mentors, Endeavor supports entrepreneurs to transform communities, create quality jobs and inspire future generations of founders.”

In addition, under the agreement, Sheraa, represented by Najla Al Midfa has joined Endeavor UAE’s Board of Directors to better align their collaboration.


About Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center):

Launched in January 2016, Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center) is a platform that supports entrepreneurs. From strategically transforming ideas into reality, to effectively nurturing established businesses, to promoting networking opportunities with investors and stakeholders – it cultivates change-makers and builds a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Sheraa – ‘Sail’ in Arabic – runs four different programs that are tailored to every stage of the entrepreneurial journey: Idea Lab, Pre-seed, Seed, and Series A.

Idea Lab breaks down an entrepreneur’s business model and ensures proof of concept. Pre-seed, consists of customized deep-dive sessions and interactive workshops on topics such as project management, rapid prototype testing, financials, pitch rehearsals, as well as personal and team strength training. The Seed program addresses a startup’s key milestones in the journey of growth, focusing on marketing channels and enhanced customer experience. Lastly, Series A is an in-depth program, helping advanced startups refine their strategy, internal processes, and external customer experience to ready them for the next stage of growth.

Sheraa, a non-profit government organization, is headquartered at the American University of Sharjah and hosts a thriving community of ambitious entrepreneurs. The second Sheraa hub, launched in September 2018, is located at the University of Sharjah.

Since its’ inception, Sheraa has successfully built a community of over 7,000 entrepreneurs and ecosystem players. Validated 300+ ideas through the Idea Lab and graduated over 70 start-ups from the programs. In addition, Sheraa start-ups have generated over $19 million in revenue and raised over $14 million in investment.

For more information, please visit – https://sheraa.ae/

February 2019 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s February newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the past month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of the page.

Picking Up Momentum, Endeavor Catalyst Crosses the 100 Investment Mark

Endeavor Catalyst blazed through a milestone of 100 investments in companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs this January, starting 2019 off strong after closing the fund’s busiest year of investment yet in 2018.

From Bukalapak, an Indonesian e-commerce unicorn, to Detroit’s Workit Health, a telehealth addiction treatment company, the newest investments reflect the steadily growing pace and increasing diversity of the Endeavor Catalyst portfolio, which today is comprised of investments in more than 20 markets and across eight industry sectors. The recent additions also include SkuVault, the fund’s first investment in Louisville, Kentucky, where Endeavor expanded in 2015.

Endeavor Catalyst Managing Directors Allen Taylor (right) and Jackie Carmel present fund updates to investors at the 2017 Endeavor Catalyst Investor Meeting in Half Moon Bay, California

Endeavor Catalyst is Endeavor’s innovative co-investment fund, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Following an objective, rules-driven approach, Endeavor Catalyst invests up to 10%  (currently capped at $2 million) of an Endeavor Entrepreneur’s equity round of over $5 million, led by a qualified institutional investor.

The fund’s pioneering model has facilitated its rapid scale. Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst made between five and ten investments in each of its first four years. That rate has increased dramatically over the past three years, with each year marking a new “high” in terms of investments. Following 16 investments in 2016 and 22 investments in 2017, the fund made a record-high 32 investments in calendar year 2018. In Latin America, the MENA region, and parts of Europe, Endeavor Catalyst has been recognized as one of the most active investors.

According to Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director Allen Taylor, there are three primary drivers for the increased investment activity: Endeavor’s own expansion, from 17 markets in 2012 to 34 today, the strength of the Endeavor portfolio, and the spread of equity capital to more and more markets that have traditionally been underserved.

“Seeing firms like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz investing in Latin America, TPG investing in Africa, and General Atlantic investing in the MENA region tells you a lot about the potential in these markets,” noted Taylor.

Endeavor Catalyst has invested in rounds alongside over 100 funds, while providing its own LPs access and exposure to some of the fastest-growing companies all over the world — reinforcing Endeavor’s belief that high-growth companies aren’t just in Silicon Valley.

In fact, the most successful companies in the Endeavor Catalyst portfolio hail from incredibly diverse geographies: Indonesia’s Bukalapak joins Cabify (Spain) and Rappi (Colombia) as the portfolio’s unicorns, and Globant (Argentina), Yemeksepeti (Turkey), Mapan (Indonesia), FIGS (Miami), and Cornershop (Mexico/Chile) have all realized exits.

As it grows, the portfolio’s breadth also offers insight into what types of entrepreneurs and companies are growing most quickly. Thus far, the Fund has invested primarily in technology and technology-enabled companies: 75% of the Fund’s capital has been deployed in Retail & Consumer Tech, Fintech, and Enterprise Software and Services. With the vast majority of these companies raising Series A and Series B rounds, it is clear that more high-potential companies founded today are integrating technology into their core functions.

We continue to see that great entrepreneurs globally can attract top-tier investors, and our pipeline remains very active going forward. Investments in Endeavor Entrepreneurs fuel the growth of high-impact companies, creating new jobs, driving revenues, and fostering economic growth in the places that need it the most. Building on the success of Fund I and Fund II, Endeavor Catalyst will be launching Fund III in the coming months.


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