Turkish tech VC Bogazici turns attention to Qatar

Bogazici Ventures, Turkey’s tech focussed venture capitalist (VC) has set its eye on Qatar. After ensuring huge support to raise the Series A Round for its new fund from Qatar recently, Bogazici is planning to launch another $200m tech Mena Fund focusing on Qatar. BV MENA fund aims to invest in late-growth stage technology startups in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Middle East and Africa.

Bogazici Ventures or BV, which has a history of several successful exits during the past five years, was recently in Qatar to raise funds for its $55m new tech fund. “After raising 60 percent of the fund, we were looking for the remaining. We are encouraged by the positive response from Qatari investors as we were able ensure fund commitment from the investors”, Ismail Barıs Ozistek, Chairman and Founder of Bogazici Ventures, told The Peninsula in an interview. Family Offices and some institutional investors have already committed to invest in the new tech-fund.

BV, which has a talented team and proven business models to its credit, is into investing in startups and also aim to give them the best mentoring support as well as financial for future exponential growth to have global success. “We are coming from technology entrepreneurship. We had successfully established a tech company, gaming company and payment company and exited them in 2013”, Ozistek said.

The new fund targets technology companies at growth stage. Growth stage means the company should be first at its seed stage. The team and product should be ready, the product should be ready and there should be certain revenue that proves that it has a business model and the market is paying for that, he said.

The new fund is domiciled in Turkey and regulated by Turkey Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund will be investing in technology companies, based in Turkey, which has the vision and capability to scale up to the region, before going global.

The technology ecosystem in Turkey is very well developed. There are thousands of good startups and great talent pool available, offering huge investment opportunities. “The good news from Qatar is that we were able to meet up with multiple potential investors who said they are really interested in our funds,” Ozistek said.

On the hot tech market segments that BV is mostly looking for, Ozistek said BV is looking for the tech companies that are at growth stage, preferably those in educational technology. “We believe the next big disruption is coming in the educational industry. Fintech and gaming are other areas of BV’s focus. We have huge experience in gaming and fintech. Remember, we have a history of successfully exiting four fintech companies and one gaming company.”

On the equity proposition of BV launched companies, Ozistek said it depends on the industry and territory.

The highly developed markets will be rich in terms for funds; means there is competition between Venture Capitalists (VCs). So the equity that VCs get will go down. But in territories like Turkey, to be honest, it is advantage VCs. In these markets, for want of sufficient funds, the number of VCs is few. The startups which are looking for funds will be more and the equity you get can go higher. “In an average $500k investment scenario, depending on the industry and the company, the fund can get 10 to 15 percent equity and the LPs will get accordingly.”

On BV’s geographical expansion plans Ozistek said the level of digital adoption is very low in Europe. In terms of innovation and digital economy, Asia is top and Korea, Japan and China are lead markets. Digital economy adoptions of people are extremely high in these Asian countries. “The smartphone penetration is extremely low in certain European countries. You cannot launch a product, where smartphone penetration is low.”

Source from: The Peninsula