Technology infrastructure is transforming, and investing in the enablers of tomorrow is crucial in shaping the future of our digitized world.
Traditionally, we have always known technology infrastructure to be the hardware components powering different sectors of the economy, such as towers, fiber optics, underwater cables, and the like. This is how we have always defined technology infrastructure. Now, this has changed. Technology infrastructure has become the software layer that supports economies at scale. Our payment systems, communication platforms, online marketplaces, service aggregators, and many more. These software components have evolved to become crucial pillars to a highly functioning economy. We all experienced, on a global scale, how venture-backed delivery services powered food supply chains across different geographies during the lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Nowadays, these technology ventures are leading us into the new age of technology infrastructure.
We have invested and supported several aspiring technology infrastructure ventures that are placed at the foundation of their respective verticals. It is imperative to mention for an infrastructure venture to succeed; it needs timing, patience, and collaborative effort that goes beyond the capital invested. As a result, we always follow a concentrated strategy in our investments, to ensure that the needed effort is afforded, from being resourceful across different needs (network, recruiting, technical knowledge, and fundraising) to hands-on support in operating tasks and objectives of portfolio companies.
HyperPay, a payment portfolio company, powers billions of dollars on an annual basis of digital payments in the MENA region. Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the local payment company was able to compete against international giants and wrestle them to the top, becoming the most locally integrated payment company in KSA and the region. HyperPay went far and beyond simple online payments, as one product in its suite offers seamless banking transfers and payout splits which enables several marketplaces, government platforms, and delivery companies. It also stands as the only payment gateway today directly connected to Mada Online (without an intermediary), along with Visa and MasterCard systems. As a result, HyperPay is transforming into a critical infrastructure hub for digital payments, starting in KSA and growing into a regional, homegrown leader.
Other portfolio companies that are becoming foundational in their own respective industries are Qoyod, BitOasis, and Denarii Cash. Qoyod is a Saudi developed SaaS solution that manages finance and accounting for SMEs. Sitting at the center of business operations, Qoyod is developing several products and services that were previously unavailable (e.g., tax compliance and e-banking functions), while serving hundreds of growing clients in KSA and neighboring countries. As for BitOasis, it is the first digital assets exchange in MENA (launched in 2015), which is currently licensed under ADGM’s new regulatory framework. Denarii Cash, on the other hand, processes millions of dollars in international transfers for businesses and individuals in the region through remittance corridors. The region holds several of the topmost used corridors in international remittance (e.g., KSA, UAE, and others), and Denarii Cash is well-positioned to become a foundational player in the evolution of the region’s remittance industry.
Today, we seek to invest in the builders of tomorrow’s technology infrastructure. Companies that plan to reside at the bedrock of their sector. Whether it is in financial technology (FinTech), logistics, or other verticals; as long as the vision is to shape the digital economy and become a foundational piece in the economy for years to come, we are interested. Our philosophy is to invest with a focused and unrelenting conviction in the best entrepreneurs shaping our future. If you are building what you believe will be a critical venture for the future of a specific industry, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abdullah has more than ten years of experience in the technology investment space. He founded iNet Fund, a corporate venture capital fund focused on early stage tech companies and owned by Integrated Networks Company, where he served as the Fund’s Managing Director. Abdullah is currently Chairman of HyperPay – an all-in-one online payment platform, and a member of several other boards. Prior to forming Merak Capital, he worked with Merrill Lynch and Cisco Capital in the United States, and Jadwa Investment in Saudi Arabia.