A Brave New World
In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we have seen the rise of new technologies, including blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence, biotech, and green tech. In the coming years, we are likely to see more disruptive tech ideas emerge in the global startup ecosystem as investors become more interested in investing in new ideas.
According to PitchBook, an international financial data and software company, VCs invested a total of $53 billion in 2,657 companies globally in the first quarter of 2019. This year also saw the birth of 23 new unicorn companies in different verticals worldwide. However, for many entrepreneurs, raising the capital needed to stay afloat, let alone become a unicorn, can feel like an impossible task.
Recently, I spoke with a successful MENA-based entrepreneur who was deeply frustrated by the fundraising process, especially in the MENA region. He claimed that no matter how successful a startup has been, or could be, that the fundraising process in the region is often laborious, tedious and bears little fruit. Yet, this frustration is not unique to the MENA region.
For over a decade, I have consulted for startups and investors in the U.S., Switzerland and the MENAT region and I have discovered that the biggest challenge for both investors and entrepreneurs alike is the fundraising process. Investors will frequently complain that global startup ecosystems are nascent or that entrepreneurs are inexperienced. On the other hand, entrepreneurs will complain that investors are too impatient and risk-averse. While the complaints vary depending on the maturity of the startup ecosystem in question, fundraising still remains to be a major pain point.
Youness Yaghcha is a serial entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in financial services, investments and management consulting. I’ve worked with large financial institutions in private banking and technology and I’m a specialist in business strategy and M&A. After years of working in Europe and the MENA, I’ve developed a complex understanding of various investment and entrepreneurial ecosystems.