Creative Dock Group Expands to Egypt, Targets $102M investments in MENA

Creative Dock Group Expands to Egypt, Targets $102M investments in MENA

Creative Dock Group (CDG), Europe’s leading corporate venture builder, announced on July 7th, 2022 the acquisition of FoundersLane – an independent corporate company builder that co-creates digital businesses with leading global corporations – to create a joint venture that builds and rapidly scales digital-first products across diverse sectors and verticals with $102 million in investment over the next five years in start-ups across MENA.

This acquisition gave birth to the world’s largest independent corporate venture builder. In addition, as part of that acquisition, the Group announced on Monday the launch of FoundersLane Egypt as part of a plan to expand in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as manage the company’s operations in Egypt in the coming period.

Mohamed Aboulnaga, an Egyptian entrepreneur, corporate venture capitalist, and former start-up operator, has been named chairperson of FoundersLane Egypt, with Anas Rabah as managing director. With the acquisition, the company intends to invest more than $102 million in the region over the next five years.

Both have previously collaborated at some of the region’s most rapidly growing and influential start-ups, including the UAE-based super app Careem and Egypt-based fintech and consumer lending platform MNT-Halan. They also recently co-founded Klivvr, a venture capital firm focused on fintech.

What CDG Entrant Means for the Egyptian Market

Martin Pesja, the founder and CEO of CDG, noted that the main purpose of the deal is not only to create valuable ventures and profit for the clients but also to have a positive impact on people’s lives and to build ventures and products with clients that will serve one billion people worldwide over the next five years.

Also commenting on the expansion, Felix Stearitz, Co-founder and CEO of FoundersLane and a board member of the CDG, said “The field of building bold facilities for companies is growing, and it is a gold coin in the time of inflation we are living in now, and this partnership will have an effective impact in shaping the market, causing a qualitative leap in the field of building bold corporate establishments.”

Creative Dock Group

Bassam Al-Wabel, a partner at FoundersLane, also explained that the corporate venture building model is a new and rapidly growing trend in the region, and this model is capable of making a qualitative shift in the way companies and large facilities operate as we know it today, as it accelerates the adoption of these entities of digital technologies and keeping pace with development plans and digital economic transformation in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“Thanks to this integration, both FoundersLane and CDG will add unique value to the Egyptian market, enabling start-up founders to get access to robust technical know-how from seasoned investors. Together, we will disrupt the venture-building ecosystem in Egypt, create several digital powerhouses, and make impactful contributions in cooperation with family businesses, corporates, and even public or semi-public companies,” said Aboul-Naga.

“FoundersLane has had incredibly successful experience in the Saudi market, and through this partnership, we are looking to learn from and capitalize on that success and pave the way for the development of digital-first businesses that push boundaries,” he added.

What Creative Dock and FoundersLane Do

Creative Dock and FoundersLane design, build and scale digital businesses and products across industries and verticals. Over the last decade, they have launched over 100 ventures for European and MENA region clients around the world.

Within two years, the group’s total annualized turnover will exceed $102 million, with an expected annual growth rate of more than 50%. By the end of this year, CDG will employ over 600 people across seven locations, with key offices in Zurich, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, and Riyadh.

Over 50 clients have used FoundersLane’s services, ranging from established European corporations like Vattenfall, Allianz, and Bosch to private and publicly traded companies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the wider region like SAPTCO.

Furthermore, the company has offices in Berlin, Riyadh, Cologne, and Vienna.

Spark Works, Switzerland’s leading innovation firm, and RohrbeckHeger, a German strategic foresight firm, have also recently been acquired by CDG.