Iraqi e-commerce venture Orisdi raises a new investment round led by existing and new investors

The Iraq-based e-commerce business, Orisdi has raised a new six figure investment round that included the participation of existing and new investors. The round was facilitated by the Iraqi Angel Investors Network and served to reinforce the continuous growth of the business and the growing potential of e-commerce in Iraq. 


The round saw the return of existing investors, including Al Sharqiya TV, Mohamed Shaikley, Amar Shubar, Nour Sabri, Kerem Danish, Omar Al Handal from Al Handal International group, and Bassam Falah from Innovest Middle East to reaffirm their commitment to the company. The round also saw the participation of new investors, including Mohamad Ferej, Rayya Al Zubaydi, and others. Ferej is a tech industry veteran and has held leading roles in Ericsson, Lumentis, and Transmode and experienced a successful M&A and IPO. 


Orisdi is a leading vertically integrated e-commerce store in Iraq that offers buyers a convenient shopping experience for a wide range of products to distupt the Iraqi retail market. Orisdi is focused on multiple categories including perfumes, cosmetics, appliances, stationery and electronics, amongst others.


The Total Addressable Market (“TAM”) for e-commerce in Iraq has been growing rapidly on the back of a young population that is increasingly internet savvy. Statista estimates the TAM to be $5.667B in 2022 and is expected to grow to $8B over the coming three years. 


Ahmed Al Kiremli, the Founder & CEO of Orisdi, commented, “We plan to continue to focus on our winning categories as a vertically integrated e-commerce store and to offer only genuine brands”. He added that the company continues to be the most efficient e-commerce player in Iraq in terms of units of economics compared to its competitors through continuous learning and processes optimization and that the business is approaching the break-even point.


Mohsen Khairaldin Garica, Managing Director of Investments at Al Sharqiya Group and a member of the Iraqi Angel Investors Network, commented: “I believe we will soon see an increase in M&A opportunities in the Iraqi e-commerce market as ventures like Orisdi and its competitors mature. Mohammed Shaikley, one of the early and returning investors of Orisdi, added, “We are happy to see the rising interest and involvement of regional VCs in Iraq during the last 12 months. Iraq has a big potential as a tech market with an underserved population of over 42 million”.


Al Kiremli added:, “We were able to overcome an important milestone by completing the company registration at Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM); this will provide a more attractive legal structure for regional and international VCs looking for exposure to Iraq’s e-commerce future.” So If you are an angel investor or a VC interested in investing in the Iraqi tech ecosystem, Orisdi remains open to raising additional funds in order to facilitate the scaling of the company.


The investment has been facilitated by the Iraqi Angel Investors Network, an initiative by Kapita sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq”.

Nakhla, an Iraqi agri-tech company, receives its first investment from Euphrates Ventures


Nakhla, an Iraqi-based Agri-tech social enterprise, has received a six-figure investment from Euphrates Ventures, an Iraq-focused venture fund. The investment was facilitated by the Iraqi Angel Investors Network and marks the first investment round completed by an Iraqi Agri-tech startup. Nakhla is the Arabic name for date palm tree and has long been associated with Iraq’s history and culture.

Nakhla was founded in 2018 by Labeeb Kashif Al-Gitta in Iraq to provide cultivation, harvesting and cleaning services to date palm trees across Baghdad. Users can subscribe to the company’s services in exchange for a subscription fee and a revenue share of the palm tree’s harvest. In addition, users can adopt a date palm tree planted in a public space. The company sells the harvest of the palm trees it serves under its own brand as part of its partnership with the Iraqi Company for Manufacturing and Marketing Dates and Imar Al Iraq. Labeeb, the CEO of Nakhla, has commented “Date palm trees have always been considered a national treasure in Iraq. Today there are more than 19 million date palm trees, 7 million of which are not made productive. We want to change that”.

Nakhla has been awarded the care of more than 12,000 date palm trees across Baghdad by the local municipality. The company has also secured sponsorship partnerships with major corporations in Iraq. Recently, the company has been selected to be part of the USAid sponsored MENA Regional Hub initiative of the Water and Energy for Food program. The company plans to launch its mobile app by mid-year and has plans to integrate AI and IoT elements into its services. Labeeb further commented “There is great potential in reviving agriculture in Iraq, but we want to go beyond that and integrate the latest technologies into our service”. It should be noted that Iraq’s harvest yield of palm trees falls behind that of other countries in the region.

Euphrates Venture has made investments into five startups including Miswag, the leading Iraqi e-commerce platform, and Alsree3, a leading food delivery service. This investment marks Euphrates first venture into Agri-Tech. Grant Felgenhauer, a Managing Partner at the firm, commented “Agriculture has the potential to be one of the most dynamic sectors of the non-oil Iraqi economy, but it is often overlooked by foreign and local investors. We are thrilled to be supporting the team at Nakhla as they expand their unique business model to deliver both economic returns as well as social impact.” Geoffrey Batt, a Managing Partner at the firm, added “Nakhla is attempting to revive a once-thriving industry in Iraq—we believe it can.  The founders and employees have great expertise, drive and vision, and we are happy to play a role in helping them achieve their goals.”

The investment has been facilitated by the Iraqi Angel Investors Network, an initiative by Kapita sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq”. Ali Al Suhail, the Network Manager for the Iraqi Angel Investors Network commented “Agri-Tech is an attractive space in Iraq that we are very excited about and foresee much larger activity in the coming years”.

About Nakhla

Nakhla is an Iraqi start-up that provides a wide range of services for date palm tree owners including harvesting, cultivating and cleaning. The company also sells harvest of the date palm trees it services under its own brand.

About Euphrates Ventures

Euphrates Ventures is a venture fund managed by Euphrates Advisors that invests in a concentrated portfolio of high growth early-stage private companies operating in Iraq.


IoT Kids secures an equity investment from Earthlink Telecommunications; Iraq’s largest ISP, through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network

IoT-Kids, an Iraqi-based online programming learning platform for children, has successfully secured five-figure investment from the leading ISP provider in Iraq; Earthlink Telecommunications  through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network member; Dr. Ala’a Jasim. This investment included a matching grant of 20,000 dollars from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq” as part of the organization’s support to the Angel Network.

IoT-Kids was founded in 2015 by Mohammad Khaled and Ali Taher in Iraq as a provider of programming courses for schools across the country. The company has launched its online platform in 2019 to provide its users with digital versions of its courses. The company boasts a digital community of more than 200,000 users and has had more than 10,000 students complete its courses. Ali Taher, the COO of IoT Kids commented “We are very excited to have Earthlink as part of our journey, the funding will help us expand our online platform, marketing efforts and in due course expand outside of Iraq to other countries in the region”.


Earthlink Telecommunications is the largest and fastest-growing Internet Service Provider in Iraq and its portfolio of services includes ICT solutions, data centers, and managed services catering to the needs of the public and private sectors. Dr. Ala’a Jasim, the Deputy CEO of Earthlink Telecommunications, said: “Earthlink’s commitment to building strong internet infrastructure in Iraq derives from its vision to be the technology driver of Iraq’s future, and we already come a long way evolving from an internet service provider to an internet economy enabler. Our investment into IoT Kids echoes our strategy and we see a great potential in IoT Kids vision to raise a new tech enabled-generation”.


IoT Kids has won multiple local and international competitions including that of the Falling Walls Foundation in Germany, the World Summit Awards, and first place awards as an Iraqi startup for Seedstars in 2019. IoT Kids has recently graduated from the Takween Accelerator Program; a Yanhad project implemented by the American University of Sulaymaniyah. 


Mujahid Waisi, the CEO of Kapita, commented “We are very happy to see locally established businesses play an increasing role in supporting the private sector through actively investing into the local Iraqi ecosystem”. Ali Al Suhail, the Network Manager for the Iraqi Angel Investors Network commented “IAIN key mission is to enable investments into Iraqi businesses, our members engaging in corporate ventures is a positive indicator of established businesses and startups working together to enable disruption”.


About IoT Kids: IoT Kids is an online learning platform for children between ages 5 – 15 years that focuses on coding-related content, the company also offers online and in-person classes. Its educational content covers a wide range of subjects including Game Design, Robotics, Electronics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and 3D Modeling.


About Earthlink: Earthlink Telecommunications started in 2005 as an Internet service provider. Within just a few years, Earthlink has become the largest Internet service provider in Iraq. We serve every city and town in the country, as well as our presence in several major cities around the world. Earthlink is not just an Internet service provider; we provide ICT solutions, data center services, managed services to business and government organizations, and much more.


Orisdi signs a 6-figure deal, with Al Sharqiya TV (The largest independent media group in Iraq)

Orisdi, the leading e-commerce store in Iraq, has successfully signed a six-figure deal with Al Sharqiya TV Group (“Sharqiya”).

Sharqiya is one of the largest media groups operating in Iraq, having launched the country’s first fully independent privately-owned satellite TV channel in 2004, complemented by the addition of the Sharqiya News channel in 2008. This investment round for Orisdi was facilitated through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network and included a matching grant from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq” as part of the organization’s support to the Angel Network.

Orisdi was founded in February 2019 by Ahmed Al Kiremli and Hala Usama and launched in May 2019. It focuses on providing its customers with a wide range of products with a unique customer experience. The business was bootstrapped at the start, then received investment by a group of angel investors before receiving funding from institutional investors. The e-commerce startup has now reached an impressive seven figures in net sales, with over 37,000 product SKUs, making it the fastest-growing e-commerce store in Iraq.

As part of its investment, Al Sharqiya will promote Orisdi’s brand through regular TV spots, across its social media pages, in addition to complimentary coverage of Orisdi and the e-commerce, technology, digital innovation and general business startup scene in Iraq on Al Sharqiya’s suite of reality TV shows, and news programming.  

Prior to this deal, Al Sharqiya will be joining a solid list of backers behind Orisdi, such as Innovest Middle East VC and a group of angel investors, including Amar Shubar, a partner at Management Partners Consulting, and Omar Al-Handal, the Managing director of Al Handal International Group. The retail industry is evolving in Iraq, and consumer behavior has shifted from shopping in physical stores to purchasing online. A few years ago,  Iraqi consumers started buying products online via social media platforms, which usually involved a lot of fraud and risk. Seeing a gap in the market for a trusted local e-commerce platform site, Orisdi was founded in 2019, providing Iraq’s consumers with a one-stop shop for competitively priced products. They offered a reliable delivery and returns policy, a trustworthy and user-friendly platform, and leading customer service. 

Orisdi is the first place winner of the grant of the Spring 2021 cohort of Takween Accelerator – the leading program for tech startups in Iraq. Takween is supported by the European Union and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Implemented by the Expertise France, and hosted at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.

Advisory support to this transaction was provided through USAID’s Durable Communities and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) project, with implementation from CrossBoundary. The support helped Orisdi respond to investor questions through the due diligence process around the company’s operating and financial model. The support helped Orisdi respond to investor questions throughout the due diligence process around the company’s operating and financial model. Jad El Jamous, a strategic startup advisor, provided additional guidance to Sharqiya during this period, enabling the transaction to progress smoothly.

Nour Sabri, an angel investor, said: “I am impressed by Orisdi’s growth and potential to become the Amazon of Iraq. I believe that with Al Sharqiya’s partnership the company will be able to head towards new heights.”   

Mohsen Khairaldin, Managing Director for Investments at Al Sharqiya Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with Orisdi as part of our growing interest in supporting the digital start-up sector in Iraq and the vital contributions private-sector companies can make towards solving day-to-day challenges for Iraqis. As one of Iraq’s leading and fastest growing e-commerce players, we believe that Orisdi provides a valuable service that more Iraqis can benefit from as awareness of its brand increases over time”.  

As the e-commerce industry is still relatively new in Iraq, Orisdi is paving the way with its offerings, focusing on being a customer-centric company and extending its customer lifetime value. Orisdi was the first platform in the Iraqi market to focus on creating a great customer experience and offering 48 hours return & exchange policy with no shipping fee to ensure that the customer has a better shopping experience and to close the gap of the customers who lack trust in online shopping in Iraq.

Ahmed Al Kiremli, Co-Founder & CEO of Orisdi says, “Al Sharqiya’s partnership with Orisdi is a significant and strategic milestone for us. It will enhance our standing with both customers and investors and will open new doors in terms of exposure and awareness from millions of Al Sharqiya’s viewers across its TV and digital platforms that will generate new customer segments and scale our sales.” 

Ali Al Suhail, the Network Manager for the Iraqi Angel Investors Network commented: “As KAPITA, we are very happy to see leading Iraqi businesses investing in local startups, Iraq holds huge potential as a digital market but capital will be critical in unlocking this potential.”

About Orisdi

Orisdi is the leading online store in Iraq that offers a broad range of products, such as perfumes, cosmetics, stationery, electronics, groceries, toys, baby care products, appliances, and home & kitchen products.

Orisdi’s brand and name is inspired by a famous department store in Iraq that enjoyed wide popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, using the name “Orosdi-Back”. It was renowned for its wide selection of products, brands, and competitive pricing. In the Iraqi dialect, most people pronounced it “Orisdi” or “Orizdi”. Orisdi wants to reconnect with customers’ memories of this well-known store and offer them an online shopping experience that is entirely new to Iraq.

Iraqi Angel Investors Network

IAIN was founded in 2020 by the project “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – Perspectives for the Modern Youth in Iraq” of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, in cooperation with its partner KAPITA.


KAPITA launches a new co-working space in baghdad dedicated to supporting Iraqi entrepreneurs

[Baghdad, Iraq] KAPITA, in partnership with Iraqi Angel Investor Jafar Musawi (CEO of Atlas Plast), have opened up a new co-working space in Baghdad that aims to support the growing entrepreneurship and small business sector in Iraq.


The newly opened space ‘CoWork’, is a dedicated co-working space for companies, freelancers, startups and creatives who need a flexible and professional workspace in Baghdad. CoWork is designed to be a convenient and affordable option for youth and freelancers to work from. It is a membership-based coworking space that has the capacity to serve up to 250 youth. This new space by KAPITA aims to create a network of productive Iraqi youth, linking freelancers with small business owners and startups, that enhances and develops the Iraqi ecosystem.


On the 22nd of April 2020, KAPITA held an opening ceremony for CoWork where a number of official figures and representatives from the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce attended along with respective figures from Banks, large corporations, prominent businessmen and Iraqi youth.


Mujahed Al Waisi, Executive Director of KAPITA stated, ‘’CoWork is a new addition to Baghdad, providing an important platform and space for companies, emerging projects and entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurship sector is expanding and growing rapidly in Iraq and there is greater need and urgency to keep up with these changes that are happening and a greater need to support the Iraqi youth in this sector’’.


Jaafar Musawi, the Angel investor of CoWork added, ‘’As businessmen, we know every well the challenges that any project in Iraq faces. We must contribute in opening up new opportunities for the Iraqi market and encourage foreign and local companies to expand into Iraq and relieve any pressures and challenges they may face by providing creative spaces, services and solutions. I am very happy to partner up with KAPITA and to be able to provide a new space for entrepreneurs in Iraq.


In addition, Bahaaddin Salim, CEO of Nass Al Iraq added, ‘’We are happy to support this space by providing the entrepreneurs with essential services that they require such as high-speed internet.”


About CoWork

CoWork is a dedicated co-working space for companies, freelancers, start-ups and creatives who need a flexible and professional workspace.


CoWork offers premium office spaces such as; private offices, shared desks, virtual offices and meeting pods at the lowest cost possible. You will have the freedom to scale your space up (or down) and you will be able to book for a day, a week or a month depending on your need. Coworking here will give you an enthusiastic and collaborative community and you will gain immediate access to other freelancers and consultants, all under one roof. All ready to network, share ideas and collaborate.

For more information visit,


About Kapita

Kapita is a private sector development company that aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through investment, research, incubation/acceleration, and market development programs. It has recently announced the graduation of 20 startups from its incubation program “Orange Corners Baghdad” in collaboration with the Netherland government and is currently accepting applications for the next edition of the program. Kapita is also running an accelerator program in partnership with GIZ and AsiaCell that focuses on scaling and growing existing startups.

For more information visit,

The Fundraising Landscape – Seeding the Future

Ali Al-Suhail, CFA

The Fundraising landscape in Iraq has continued to evolve over the third quarter of 2020. The newly formed Iraqi Angel Investors Network (IAIN) has had a profound impact on the scene facilitating three rounds of seed investments since its launch in August 2020. The AUIS based Takween accelerator announced the graduation of its first cohort and awarded a total of $70k to the first five startups. Finally, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) expects to announce the winner of its grants in a public event sometime in mid-January 2021.

The increasing activity at the seed and pre-seed stages will help develop the pipeline for later stage deals to take place in 2021 with bigger tickets. As I have highlighted in our previous letter, the seed stage faces a significant funding gap in Iraq, and it is a primed space for local investors to get involved in. We saw this materialize with the investments made by IAIN; which focused on the seed stage and was led by local investors.

As KAPITA, we have played an active role in all of the investments that were completed by the network. We led two of the investments and were a shareholder in the third. Below are the details of the three investment rounds that were facilitated by IAIN:

Tabib Baghdad:

KAPITA and Nass Al Iraq made a six figures investment into Tabib Baghdad, an online doctor booking platform. The company started its operations in Baghdad and plans to cover the rest of Iraq in the coming year. At present, Tabib Baghdad has more than 300 doctors on its platform and has facilitated more than a thousand bookings. We see a great opportunity in Tabib Baghdad as we believe the process of finding the right doctor in Iraq is hampered and that the community can benefit immensely from digitization. The main mode of finding doctors in Iraq is word of mouth and this concentrates patients with select doctors while leaving significant capacity with others. Through its ratings and review system, Tabib Baghdad aims to democratize this process creating more efficient ways for patients to find doctors.


KAPITA and a group of co-investors, including Mohammed Al-Hakim and Iraq Tech Ventures, made a five figures investment into Teami; a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for medical representatives. Teami was founded in order to provide pharmaceutical agents in Iraq a professional alternative to the current tools (mainly WhatsApp and Telegram) used to manage their on-field sales teams. Teami is a great product with a great team behind it, but what distinguishes Teami is that it is very well-tailored to the needs of the Iraqi market.


The members of the network; Amar Shubar and Jaafar Al Musawi, along with other co-investors, have made a six figures investment into Hi-Express, a last mile delivery focused on the B2B segment of the market and was co-founded by KAPITA’s founder, Mujahid Waisi. Hi-Express has grown to serve more than 170 vendors over the past year. Hi-Express is distinguished by its proprietary technology and the deep experience of its founding team. The company has been able to grow rapidly over 2020, despite the hurdles encountered by the last mile delivery providers.

Being at the forefront of the above investments provided us with some interesting insights into the way investors are thinking of early stage investing in Iraq:

  • Industry/theme agnostics: investors are looking for attractive startups to invest in across sectors rather than focusing on certain markets or themes.
  • Commercially viable: investors have a strong preference for commercially viable business models as opposed to superior technology.
  • Value-add investing: investors prefer startups where their value-add extends beyond the financial contribution, such as providing technical resources or supporting business development.

These are the preferences that dominate early stage investing in Iraq today. We expect these preferences to evolve over the coming year with the ecosystem. In general, there is a strong belief in the potential of Iraqi startups among investors despite the economic difficulties. The biggest challenge for most investors is finding startups that are able to combine well-built technology and a sound business model. We do see the pipeline improving significantly over the coming year. I was honored to be selected as part of the judging panel for the Takween accelerator demo day and have been a part of the judging committee for the IOM grants awards for startups. In both events, we were very happy to see the quality of startups coming into both programs.

We are already seeing certain sectors coming into focus with increasing startup activity to disrupt them. One such sector is healthcare; as the country’s already fragile healthcare system has been stormed by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are opportunities across the healthcare value chain from helping doctors establish better trust with their patients to helping medical representatives better manage their on-field operations. Education is another sector where we are seeing an increased startup activity, but the right business model remains elusive for most startups in this sector.

Post-investment, investors do face many challenges around company registration and governance. There is a general lack of expertise on term sheet clauses that usually govern the relationship between the investors and the founding team. Another issue is the registration process, startups at the seed stage are looking for the most cost-effective registration paths, and the typical choice falls on a Limited Liability Company. The registration process is lengthy and costly. Recently, we have seen an announcement by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the launch of a single window to register businesses but this has yet to be fully active.

Reflecting on 2020, we have seen an impressive growth of the ecosystem. Miswag and Lezzo both secured investment rounds of more than $1 million and the onset of the COVID-19 has caused a massive surge in the overall e-commerce activities. We expect this trend to continue in 2021 with an increase in the volume of seed round investments and larger later stage investments.

IAIN joins ESCP to facilitate funding for SGBs across borders.

We are happy to announce that Iraq Angel Investors Network is now a member of The Early-Stage Capital Provider Network (ESCP); an initiative by the Collaborative for Frontier Finance.

The Collaborative for Frontier Finance is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to increase access to capital for small and growing businesses (SGBs) in emerging markets. ESCP Network encompasses capital providers that target SGBs at the early stage of their business model.

Being part of ESCP Network will help IAIN share learnings and build relationships with other early stage capital providers across geographies. IAIN will also be able to create collective action with other ESCP members to identify, develop and implement ideas which the CFF and the network can take forward to provide benefits to the ESCP network as a whole.

Visit IAIN to learn more about our funding process.

The realities of fundraising in Iraq

Fundraising: An Iraqi Perspective

Written by: Ali Al Suhail, Managing Director at KAPITA, a development company that invests and incubates startups in Iraq. He is also the network manager for the Iraqi Angel Network

The fundraising environment in Iraq is getting exciting. Following the big news of Lezzoo securing a seven figure investment round, we are starting to see more activity with Iraq Tech Ventures leading a six figure investment round into Alsaree3/Zajil and Lezzoo acquiring Erbil Delivery. These activities increasingly validate the potential of the Iraqi market.

There are some interesting takeaways from what we saw so far:

Investments are geared toward B2C startups models in the e-commerce and last mile delivery spaces,
Most investors are diaspora based or foreign investors with established operations in Iraq, and
Targeted startups that are at their Series A stage, i.e., startups with a validated product / market fit, well-established tech and clear business model.

The last point is well understood given the inherent risk and volatility in the Iraqi market with investors seeking to invest in businesses with well-established operations and validated business models.

On the other hand, we are seeing an increase in support for companies at the concept and idea validation phase. IOM announced a grant program for Iraqi startups through its Enterprise Development Fund-Innovation, Orange Corner Baghdad has accepted its second cohort and AUIS announced the Takween accelerator. All of these programs are funded by donors and multilateral organizations. Those programs will serve as a great pipeline for innovative and exciting startups to address the many problems existing in Iraqi markets.

The intersection of investors’ appetite for Series A startups and development organization support for Pre-seed startups create a gap for startups at the Seed stage. We see many strong founders with exciting ideas that fail to build a business around them due to the ambiguity around funding. Founders with no path to funding end up resorting to building cheap technology infrastructures and overreliance on freelancers within key functions of the business. The end result is a shaky operating model built up on a weak technology that breaks a part with as soon as it scales. To address this gap, we have recently launched the first Iraqi Angel Investors Network to help all companies but give special attention to business at this stage. This is a space that can benefit immensely from investments from local entrepreneurs and investors as ticket sizes are small and founders can benefit from their networks and local knowledge.

Founders have a role to play as well to address this gap. There are few things they can do to de-risk their business and make it more attractive to investors.

Register the business: Investors are very wary of the legal complexities of investing in a business without a legal form. It is well understood that business registration is a lengthy and costly process, but founders need to at least start the process before tapping investors.

Build in-house tech capabilities: When tech is a key core of the business, you need to build it in-house. You can outsource some component of your tech but ultimately you will need in-house talent to manage and maintain this front. Investors are more comfortable investing in startups with strong in-house tech talent.

Leverage your equity: The most two important factors that will determine the startup success are the team and the market. In the initial days of the business paying a good salary is improbable, but founders can lure in strong talents with equity stakes.

Prepare to fundraise: As part of your fundraising, you need to create documents to market your business. Investors will look at your pitch and business plan as a reflection of your business and ambitions. Founders need to produce high quality documents with clear articulation of their ideas, plans and the target market.

Understand your strengths: In a business early day, every person on your organization chart needs to have a key role in the business including you. Founders cannot hide behind the CEO title and need to clearly demonstrate their value add to the overall business.

Fundraising is a difficult task anywhere in the world and it is especially difficult within Iraq given the dynamics and the volatility of the market. Founders need to build an awareness on the challenges and dynamics associated with fundraising.

We expect to see more fundraising news coming out of Iraq prior to the end of this year. As more investors enter the last mile delivery and e-commerce spaces, we expect new investments to come into other areas in the market. We are seeing many startups looking to address challenges in the healthcare value chain in Iraq. There are another two sectors that are receiving international attention but have yet to see any real startup activity; Agriculture and Fintech. Fintech is of special interest as innovation in this space to help transform the cash culture in Iraq and move consumers toward online payment will have an immense impact on the ecosystem as a whole. Things are about to get interesting!

Hi-Express, an Iraqi Startup, announces its seed round through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network

The Iraqi Angel Investors Network (IAIN) announced its third facilitated investment into startups in Iraq. The members of the network;Amar Shubar and Jaafar Al Musawi, along with other co-inventors, have made a six figures investment into Hi-Express.

Hi-Express is a last mile delivery focused on the B2B segment of the market and was founded in 2019 by Mujahid Waisi, Ameen Saleem and Ahmed Al Alousi. Hi-Express has grown to serve more than 170 vendors over the past year empowered by its proprietary technology and the deep experience of its founding team. Ahmed Al Aloosi, the CEO of Hi-Express, has commented “Despite the increasing competition in the last mile market in Iraq, the size and potential of the market makes it still up for grabs. Our growth over the past year is a testament to our abilities”. Mujahid Waisi added “This investment will allow us to expand our fleet and offerings to cover the whole Iraqi market, we aim to be the trusted logistics partner to all startups and e-commerce platforms in Iraq”.

Amar Shubar, a member of IAIN and Partner at Management Partners, has commented, “Operations excellence is a key challenge for most companies operating in Iraq and especially the last-mile-delivery segment. The team and technology behind Hi-Express has demonstrated its ability to overcome such challenges. While currently most of the last-mile-delivery demand is driven by the increased E-commerce transactions in Iraq, HI-Express is well positioned to transform customer engagement and service fulfillment for a number of sectors – especially related to the government and financial service sector. ”

Ali Al Suhail, the Investment Manager at IAIN, commented “We are very proud to facilitate the third investment through the network in a record time, it demonstrates the tech opportunity in the Iraqi market and the ability for investments to take place when the right settings are applied”.

Iraq’s Teami receives its first investment through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network

Teami has concluded its first investment round through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network. The company managed to raise a five figure round from a group of distinguished Iraqi investors including; Mohamed Al Hakim, the General Manager of Careem in Iraq and Jordan; Iraqi Tech Ventures; Ahmed Baqir and KAPITA. In addition, Teami secured USD 20,000 in grants from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq” as part of the organization’s support to the Angel Network. This event marks the second financing round completed through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network after the recent funding for Tabib Baghdad.

Teami provides CRM solutions to medical agents in Iraq to help them manage their on-field operations. The company is distinguished by its ability to use innovative technology to address the needs of the Iraqi market. The company’s solutions are already being used by more than 400 users. Mustafa Al Jaf, the founder of Teami, is a veteran of the industry with more than 10 years of experience in Abbott. He commented “Over my career, I have built a strong understanding of the pain points facing Iraqi medical representatives, Teami has been built to address them”. On the funding, he commented “We are ready to take on the market. With our funding round concluded, our focus will shift toward ramping up our marketing activities and optimizing our product”.
Mohamed Al Hakim, one of the investors commented, “Teami addresses a real market need today, we see great potential for the company to capture a strong market share over the next few years. Technology can address many of Iraq’s challenges and I see great prospects for Iraqi startups”. Ahmed Baqir added “Teami is a great example of a local answer to local problems using solid technology”.

Teami has graduated recently from ScaleUp Academy and Orange Corner Baghdad, both programs run by KAPITA. Mujahid Waisi; the CEO of Kapita, commented, “We are committed to helping all of our founders from validating an idea to raising their first fund, we are very excited to continue the journey with Teami as an investor’’.

The company has also seen the participation of Iraqi Tech Ventures, this is the third investment for Iraqi Tech Ventures in Iraq after completing their investments into Miswag and AlSaree3. Mohammed Al Khudari, the Executive Director of ITV commented “The Iraqi technology market presents a tremendous opportunity for investors, Teami is a prime example of what can be accomplished by the support of investors and the right founder mindset.”

Ali Al Suhail, the manager of the Iraqi Angel Investors Network further commented, “The large tech opportunity remains for B2C businesses in Iraq but Teami is proof that there are many problems to address and markets to create on the corporate side as well’’.