Apr 24, 2024 - Business

Exclusive: Amkan Ventures aims to connect Gulf region investors with emerging U.S. managers

Illustration of a pattern of rolled up twenty dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amkan Ventures, a Dubai-based fund-of-funds focused on backing emerging venture investors, has raised $5 million of the $10 million target for its debut fund.

Why it matters: Amkan is connecting family offices in the Gulf region and emerging U.S.-based VCs — two groups unlikely to otherwise meet.

The big picture: Daouk decided to raise a fund after helping a number of family offices and other institutions vet and invest in American venture firms and tech startups as a consultant and building out another prior employer's portfolio.

  • "A few years ago there was a lot of influx of American [general partners] coming to the region to fundraise…the region was really excited," Raida Daouk, founder and general partner, tells Axios. "Now it feels like there's too much of them, so the region is really prioritizing those that they have pre-existing relationships with."

Between the lines: Despite the double-fee structure that comes with a fund-of-funds, Daouk has found limited partners are willing to pay in exchange for delegating due diligence, and gaining exposure to stronger funds.

Zoom in: Amkan recently invested in Nebular, a New York-based fund led ex-Frontline Ventures partner Finn Murphy, focused on pre-seed and seed tech startups in Europe and the U.S.

  • Daouk says she was impressed to see Nebular lead rounds, adding that the firm is reaching its $30 million hard cap after initially targeting a $20 million fund.

Zoom out: While Amkan is mostly focused on backing U.S.-based venture firms, Daouk says that some of the country's political uncertainty — like the never-ending debt ceiling drama — has changed her mind.

  • Now she expects to make at least one investment from this fund in Europe and is keeping an eye on VCs in other regions.
Go deeper