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TMCNet:  Cisco to invest $6m in Badia Impact Fund [Jordan Times, Amman :: ]

[February 23, 2014]

Cisco to invest $6m in Badia Impact Fund [Jordan Times, Amman :: ]

(Jordan Times, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 23--AMMAN -- Cisco on Saturday announced a $6 million investment in the Badia Impact Fund to support early-stage online and mobile innovation, healthcare technologies, e-commerce, consumer Internet and digital media services in Jordan.

The investment, which is the first allocation from the $10 million venture capital investment commitment initially outlined by the international network company in May 2011, targets small businesses that provide innovative products, services and solutions in the Kingdom, Alan Chelko, business development manager at Cisco, told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The Badia Impact Fund is jointly funded by Cisco, as an anchor investor, along with the European Investment Bank, the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), and the fund sponsor, Accelerator Technology Holdings.

The fund is dedicated to investing in early-stage start-ups in the technology sector in Jordan. It provides support, networks and capital for entrepreneurs to achieve global impact, according to a Cisco statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

"The money will be used to invest in Jordanian ICT companies. Our investment in the fund will help mobilise capital, create jobs in the Kingdom and accelerate tech- innovation," Chelko said.

"It is the first time that we have invested in a fund in Jordan," he said.

Commenting on the announcement, Fawaz Zu'bi, the founder and CEO of Accelerator Technology Holdings, said: "This is a big win for Jordan and a very big win for the ICT sector." "Cisco's contribution will help the fund invest in 12-15 companies in Jordan, where the ICT sector witnessed several setbacks and challenges over the past few years," Zu'bi told The Jordan Times.

"We will invest in early-stage existing companies. We will look for companies that can go global. We are building the bridge for them to go global and enter new markets," he added.

KAFD Chairman Omar Razzaz stressed the key role the fund will play in supporting small businesses.

"We are hoping that this endeavour will help enhance national production in this sector and succeed in motivating local talent," Razzaz said in a statement.

"The information and communications technology sector in Jordan has witnessed significant year on year growth, now forming nearly 13 per cent of the country's [gross domestic product] and therefore primed to be a key source for job opportunities as well as economic growth in the region," he added.

___ (c)2014 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) Visit the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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