Aramex Founder to Invest in Gulf Startups Following Stake Sale

  • Ghandour’s first Wamda venture fund to close at $70 million
  • Fundraising for $500 million Wamda II fund to begin next year

Fadi Ghandour, the founder of Aramex PJSC, plans to raise as much as $500 million for a second venture capital fund to invest in the burgeoning e-commerce business in the Middle East.

Ghandour, who this week sold his stake in Dubai-based logistics company Aramex, is closing Wamda Capital’s first $70 million fund soon, he said in an interview today. The fund will target an average investment of $250,000 to $5 million in the early and growth stages of e-commerce and technology companies, he said. Ghandour, Wamda’s chairman, said he will start fundraising next year for Wamda II, with a target size of $300 million to $500 million that will extend investments to Turkey and Pakistan.

“E-commerce is happening in the region, it’s growing massively,” Ghandour told Bloomberg TV. “There’s about 200 million people in the region that are online. They are transacting. They are effectively building the next economy. I’m betting on those.”

Watch Fadi Ghandour explain why he sold his stake in Aramex: Video

Ghandour sold his holding in Aramex, which he owned through a stake in Levant Logistics, to two companies backed by Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC. Ghandour says he plans to spend more time on his new ventures and supporting tech startups.

“My time is really focused on what I’m doing in the future,” Ghandour said, making it easier “to take the decision and do what I’ve done with Aramex.”