The valuations they were offering, I felt offended. I remember telling them, listen, if you don’t add a zero to that; we’re not going to consider it.”
Who said it: Abdulaziz Al Loughani, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of the USD 7 bn Kuwait National Fund for SME Development
In Context: Valuations for Internet startups were below other regions in the world four years ago when Kuwait-based Abdulaziz Al Loughani was trying to raise capital for Talabat, a fast food ordering startup, operating in several Middle East region countries. It looks like valuations have improved as this month Rocket Internet, the publicly traded early stage investment company founded by the Samwer brothers, acquired Talabat for EUR 150 million. In the meantime, Abdulaziz Al Loughani exited – well before the Rocket takeover – at four times money. He is now part of a new fund meant investing in small and medium sized ventures in Kuwait. The Gulf country has the basis for an innovation ecosystem say local insiders, particularly in oil and gas industry (energy efficiency, data analytics and exploration); marine biology and life sciences. Its location also makes it a potential hub for global trade and commerce, according to Nish Acharya, in a guest blog in Forbes.
Where we found it: WAMDA