According to Preqin’s comprehensive Funds in Market database, there are currently 34 funds on the road which focus on the MENA region, either exclusively or as part of a broader geographic focus. These 34 funds are seeking an aggregate $9.9bn. Nine funds in market are being managed by United Arab Emirates-based fund managers and are targeting just shy of $3bn in aggregate target capital; this represents 30% of the overall aggregate capital sought to invest the region.
Growth funds are the most abundant fund type for vehicles seeking investment into the MENA region, with 12 funds targeting an aggregate $2.9bn. The largest growth fund in market focused on the region is the Al Masah MENA Growth PE Fund I, which is targeting $500mn and plans to invest at least 50% of its aggregate capital commitments in the healthcare and education sectors in the MENA region.
Venture capital funds are the second most popular fund type, with eight funds seeking $886m to invest either exclusively or as part of a wider geographic focus in the MENA region. Rising Tide is a venture capital general vehicle focusing on investments in a number of locations internationally, including the MENA region. The fund targets investment in the internet, digital media, high-tech, healthcare IT, e-commerce and cloud computing sectors.
Real estate, infrastructure and buyout funds are all in market, with three funds seeking capital to invest in the MENA region either exclusively or as part of a wider geographic focus. Real estate funds are targeting an aggregate $1.8bn, followed by infrastructure funds seeking $1.7bn and buyout vehicles looking to raise $265mn. The largest MENA-focused infrastructure fund in market is InfraMed Infrastructure, which is targeting $1bn to invest in the development of energy, transportation and urban infrastructure projects. The fund invests in the MENA region, as well as the Mediterranean.
So far in 2012 six funds which either invest exclusively in the MENA region or as part of a wider geographic focus have closed, collecting $414mn in aggregate capital commitments. Siraj Palestine Fund I closed in February of this year to invest exclusively in Palestine across a broad range of industries. The venture capital general fund met its $90mn target and will be investing in 20 to 30 companies.