The EIB has leveraged its newly-launched development finance wing, EIB Global, to finalise a $27 million anchor investment in the Middle East and Pakistan LP vehicle Middle East Venture Fund IV (MEVP IV).
The EIB Global commitment is described as the bank's largest Middle Eastern engagement on record and will target four geographic markets: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Pakistan.
The development finance subsidiary was formed to strengthen EIB's capacity for global impact deals, including through deals supporting peace, security, sustainability and economic resilience.
MEVP's fourth fund vintage aims to raise $150 million for equity deals in e-commerce, health tech and ed tech sectors. It is intended to fuel digital enterprise activity spurred by the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Portfolio companies will benefit from hands-on sector guidance and technical insights from the MEVP investment partners, who possess 12 years of regional dealmaking expertise.
MEVP's investment thesis targets lifestyle changes driven by digital technology, for example building new online health services, e-schooling, entertainment marketplaces and other services.
As a result, the fund is expected to help open more than 8,000 skilled jobs in tech across Pakistan and the Middle East.
A venture funding boom in both regions is said to have benefited startups, with VC amounts before the recent slowdown trending three times above baseline expectations on average, EIB said.
The Middle East Venture Partners portfolio includes Anghami, a UAE-HQed music streaming platform dubbed the first of its kind in the Arab world. Anghami floated shares on NASDAQ last February.
Further highlights from the MEVP portfolio are Pakistan-based super consumer app Bykea, which combines food delivery, transport and cash transfer services, and the smart payments platform Altibbi.