Berytech Fund I

“We help make things happen” Berytech Fund is passionately committed to helping its portfolio companies succeed. Berytech Fund makes venture capital and equity-related investments in start-up information, communication & technology (ICT) portfolio companies in Lebanon. The Fund believes it is strongly positioned to make profitable investments in innovative, technology-based start-up ventures in Lebanon.

About

Berytech fund I is a Lebanese start up fund. Its mission is to invest in early growth Lebanese companies whose business is in the information and communication technology (ICT) in exchange for equity ownership. With over USD6 million under management, the Fund focuses on technology companies in Lebanon with proven commercial viability.

We have the operational experience to nurture the right management team to make the vision a reality, helping fast growing companies avoid pitfalls. We offer vision, imagination, experience and a network of contacts across the globe through the Fund partners.

The Fund will know how to garner the attention of the Venture Capital community at large, at the appropriate time and facilitate the next round of financing or investment for a win-win situation.

History

Berytech Fund was founded in 2008. It is part of an eco-system focused on enterprise development and which started in 2002 with the establishment of Berytech Technology Pole, the first technology incubator in Lebanon.

In the fulfillment of its mission, Berytech realized the need for providing equity financing to entrepreneurs. This led its Chairman, Mr. Maroun Chammas, to bring the idea to a successful fruition by assembling both a prominent group of investors who share the vision of Berytech to support entrepreneurship in Lebanon, and a professional team to manage the investment.

Thanks to the Fund’s ties to the support structure of Berytech, it enjoys access to a pool of business practitioners, academic experts and seasoned entrepreneurs, as well as to an array of business development services encompassing training, coaching, and access to further funding and to a wide network of local and global expertise.

Berytech’s involvement in the SME sector has allowed it to identify a market need for small scale early investment as well as a level of professional direction. We responded to this need by establishing the Berytech Fund.

Investment

The fund invested $6M in 15 companies with portions ranging from $100,000 to $1,200,000 per transaction. To help its portfolio companies grow, the fund called on its shareholders and a vast array of worldwide contacts to bring in the necessary expertise which could be technical, marketing, networking, management, corporate governance, etc.

The time horizon of the fund’s investment was up to seven years, at the end of which, the portfolio company could have grown to the size that will allow it either to go public, attract potential strategic partner, or merge with another company in its field to benefit from the economy of scale.

Currently, The fund is happy to explore exit opportunities for its remaining companies from the portfolio. Stakeholders who feel that Berytech Fund is the right partner to help them achieve their aspirations, are asked to contact Mr. Sami Beydoun, the fund’s managing partner, who will arrange for a meeting to explore the partnership, and discuss the investment procedure (Email: sami.beydoun@berytechfund.org)

More on the first exits of Berytech Fund I can be found on the following link.

The Team

The management team brings to the fund a range of financial and business development skills, from critical investment analysis to shrewd economic and innovative development strategy. The team has also oversight over the management of portfolio companies.

Maroun N. Chammas is an established entrepreneur. He is Director and Deputy General Manager of the Chammas Group of companies, one of the largest privately owned industrial and service oriented groups in the Near East with interests in downstream petroleum activities and services. He is co-founder and Director of Teleinvest Holdings which has equity interests in several telecom companies of which Inconet-Data Management(IDM), Netlink, Triband and Netcommerce. He is also Chairman and CEO of Berytech and Chairman of the Berytech Fund.

Sami spent most of his career with major US investment banks in Beirut, New York, and London. After obtaining his diploma in Law & Economics from Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut, he worked eleven years with Merrill Lynch out of which five years were in Beirut, one in New York, and four in London where he was Vice-President, Manager of the international managed futures accounts department. The next three years he was the Managing Director of SB commodities, a British asset management firm which he created, and subsequently, still in London, moved to what became Lehman Brothers (E.F.Hutton, Shearson American Express), where he spent eleven years as Senior Vice-President and General Manager of London Retail.

Paul Chucrallah is a former banker, having held several senior positions in Lebanese commercial and investment banks, and served clients in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from services to insurance to manufacturing. He also has specific former experience in the Private Equity sector, having taken part in the establishment of a private equity venture as well as in the credit cards sector. Prior to that, Paul was a consultant with a leading firm in London. He holds a telecom engineering degree from l’Ecole Supérieure des Ingénieurs de Beyrouth (ESIB) and an MBA from INSEAD.

Elie has extensive experience in financing small to medium entreprises and notably innovative start ups. He previously worked at Kafalat where he held the position of Head of Innovative Loan Guarantee Fund and was responsible for financial product research and development. He also handled the company’s external relations with international and local organizations. Additionally, Elie acted as technical consultant within a regional European Commission project aiming at launching new financing facilities for startups across the MENA region. Most recently he successfully completed an assignment as Lead Consultant in structuring and raising funds for a first of its kind equity guarantee fund. Elie is very active in the local and regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. He holds a BA in Economics from Université Saint-Joseph and an MA in Financial Economics from the American University of Beirut.

Nicolas is a telecommunications engineer from ESIB (USJ), with a PhD in Networking Systems from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France. He is a published researcher in the IT field, a Certified Cisco Networking Academy Instructor from University of Central England (Birmingham), a graduate of the INSEAD School of Management (Young Manager’s Program), and a certified Business Counselor from UNIDO Entrepreneurship Development Center. He is also accredited Business Advisor from the Institute of Business Consulting (UK) and accredited Assessor by the Oxford Cambridge & RSA Examinations (OCR) and a Certified Trainer by the Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute, Switzerland.

He is a lecturer at ESIB and acts as Director of Berytech Technology Pole which he had joined since inception in 2002.

Waddad pursued a Masters degree in Economics from Université Saint Joseph where she graduated in 1999. While pursuing her studies, she attended different conferences concerning the political economy of the government & general investment strategy. In 2000, she joined “Cashless Card”, a Lebanese credit card company where she handled the accounts & the finance studies such as feasibility & projections. In March 2007, she joined Berytech in her capacity as Accounting Manager and has been involved in ongoing financial concerns of the Berytech Fund as well.

The investment board

Further to the management team, the Fund’ investments are reviewed and approved by an Investment Committee, composed of leading Lebanese business people; together they present a formidable blend of business proficiency and experience. The Committee serves as a powerful source of insights and networking, thereby providing additional resources to the Funds’ portfolio companies.

Khater Abi Habib

Khater Abi Habib is holder of a BA Economics (1972), a MA in Economics & Government (1974-1975) and a PhD in Government & Social Anthropology (1983) from the University of Manchester.

Khater undertook field research studies on Government, Society & Economic Development – the Region of Extremadura in Spain (1977-1978). He assumed the position of Undergraduate Tutor – Faculty of Economic Studies – University of Manchester (1974-1976); Temporary Lecturer – Department of Economics & Social Studies – University of Salford (1979-1980); Assistant Lecturer – University of Manchester (1981-1982); Part Time Lecturer – A.U.B. (O.C.P) & Occasional Lecturer – Institute Of Banking – Association of Banks – St. Joseph University (1983-1989). He was also Vice-Chairman and Member of the Lebanese Swiss Bank (1988–1997).

At present he is Chairman & General Manager – National Institute for the Guarantee of Deposits (since 1997); Chairman & General Manager – Kafalat Sal (since 1998); Chairman & General Manager – Casino Du Liban (since March 2006). He is also Member of the Research & Study Committee at the Association of Banks – Lebanon, Member of the Board at St. Charles City Centre, Lebanon and Member of the Board at Compagnie Immobiliere Libanaise, Lebanon.

Sami Beydoun

Sami spent most of his career with major US investment banks in Beirut, New York, and London. After obtaining his diploma in Law & Economics from Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut, he worked eleven years with Merrill Lynch out of which five years were in Beirut, one in New York, and four in London where he was Vice-President, Manager of the international managed futures accounts department. The next three years he was the Managing Director of SB commodities, a British asset management firm which he created, and subsequently, still in London, moved to what became Lehman Brothers (E.F.Hutton, Shearson American Express), where he spent eleven years as Senior Vice-President and General Manager of London Retail.

Maroun N. Chammas

Maroun N. Chammas is an established entrepreneur. He is Director and Deputy General Manager of the Chammas Group of companies, one of the largest privately owned industrial and service oriented groups in the Near East with interests in downstream petroleum activities and services. He is co-founder and Director of Teleinvest Holdings which has equity interests in several telecom companies of which Inconet-Data Management(IDM), Netlink, Triband and Netcommerce. He is also Chairman and CEO of Berytech and Chairman of the Berytech Fund.

Nabil J. Bustros

Nabil J. Bustros is Chairman & CEO of MDS Holdings. He attended Saint Joseph University – Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Beyrouth ESIB- in Lebanon, and received in 1974 his Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, he joined the Etablissements Mecanographiques du Maroc, Morocco’s “Olivetti” Agency, in Casablanca as Board Member and Sales Manager and remained through 1982.

Mr. Bustros joined MDS in 1982 as a member of the Board of Directors. He was named CEO of the corporation in 1988.

He took over the activities of the corporation in Lebanon & the Middle East and expanded them to Africa, Western & Eastern Europe and Central Asia starting up with a 20 Million U.S. Dollars turnover until exceeding in 2007 U.S. Dollars One Billion. More information on MDS is provided on: www.mdsholdings.com

Mr. Bustros is a member of the Board of Directors for Holcom Holding and A.T.G. Holding.

Fady Debbane

Fady Debbane is the CEO of Desco Holding, the investment vehicle of Debbane Group. He is also Chairman of Pesco Telecom, a Lebanese wireless broadband operator, as well as Chairman of EVER ME, a regional software company with subsidiaries in five Arab countries. He is a Board Member in several regional companies in the sectors of Agriculture, Manufacturing, Contracting and Construction.

He started his career in the USA where he worked in several companies, among them Data-Tek as Director of Business Development, a software company specialized in retail and route distribution software, and Bank Audi USA as Senior Vice-President and Head of Credit Department. He returned to Lebanon in 1994 when he joined the Debbane Group as Group CFO and started the Group’s activity in the technology sector.

Constantin Salameh

Constantin is the Chief Operating Officer of Emirates International Investment Company, the private investment group of the Al-Nahyan family with a broad portfolio of businesses in the real estate, private equity, industrial, oil & gas and trading sectors.

Constantin is also the founder and managing partner of CSTouch, a consulting firm specializing in strategy & financial management, business planning and leadership development services for international companies (Schlumberger, Eurocontrol, Societe Generale, GlobalCom, Emaar, APM Terminals, Alk Abello, Huntsman, MCE and BASF).

He has 25 years of senior cross-functional (finance, sales, marketing and operations) management experience with multinational companies and family businesses in the technology, private equity, retail and financial services sectors. Mr. Salameh held senior executive positions with Hewlett Packard (1984-2003) including VP & Managing Director of HP Financial Services in Asia Pacific (1996-1999) and in EMEA (2000-2003).

He holds a B.Sc. (Eng.) from King’s College in London (1979), a M.Sc. (Eng.) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980) and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1984).

Mr. Salameh held positions on boards of public and private companies including HP International Bank, End2End, HP Finance Indonesia, Bata India, and HP Finance China. He is a member of the board of Young Enterprise Switzerland, the Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute, the Berytech Fund and the AUB Graduate School of Business.

He is a frequent speaker at international conferences organized by the World Bank, Euromoney, IMD, Asia International and Campden Conferences. He delivers entrepreneurship, finance and strategy courses at leading universities (EPFL, IMD, ETHZ, etc.) and is the author of publications in the fields of international finance and business strategy.

Mr.Salameh is a Swiss citizen, married and the father of two boys.

Members of the Board

Mr. Maroun N. Chammas – Chairman

Banque Audi SAL represented by Mrs. Jocelyne Jalkh

Berytech Scal represented by the Chairman

Computer Information Systems (CIS) SAL represented by Dr Antoine El Kareh

Credit Libanais SAL, represented by Mr. Georges Hajj

Fransabank SAL represented by Mr. Walid Daouk

SGBL Bank SAL represented by Mr. Charbel Gharios

Libano Francaise Finance SAL represented by Mr. Walid Raphael

MDS SAL represented by Mr. Nabil Bustros

Pesco Telecom SAL represented by Mr. Fadi Debbane

Saint Joseph University (USJ) represented by Mr. Wajdi Najem

Sami Beydoun representing himself

Service Unis Sarl represented by Mr. Ibrahim Yazigi

The shareholders

Investors in Berytech include prominent Lebanese banks, large national corporations, Fortune 500 multinational companies, local NGOs, a university and individuals. They are:

  • ALLIANZ – SOCIETE NATIONALE D’ASSURANCE (SNA)
  • BANQUE AUDI SAL – AUDI SARADAR GROUP
  • BERYTECH SCAL
  • COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS (CIS) SAL
  • CISCO
  • CREDIT CARD SERVICES COMPANY SAL
  • CREDIT LIBANAIS INVESTMENT BANK SAL
  • FRANSABANK SAL
  • GEORGES N. FREM FOUNDATION
  • INTEL CAPITAL
  • LIBANO-FRANCAISE FINANCE SAL
  • KETTANEH HOLDING SA (Services Unis)
  • SGBL BANK SAL
  • MIDEAST DATA SYSTEMS SAL (HOLDING)
  • MUREX SYSTEM SAL
  • PESCO TELECOM SAL
  • MR. SAMI BEYDOUN
  • TELEINVEST SAL (HOLDING)
  • UNIVERSITE SAINT JOSEPH (USJ)

 

Portfolio Companies

Name

Investment.

Date

Product – Service

Edulab

2009 Mar

E-education content

Act. Ident

2010 Jan

High tech RFID solutions

Dermandar

2010 Sep

Imaging technologies for mobile apps

ElementN

2010 Nov

Operators and cloud computing solution

Bsynchro

2011 Dec

Software solutions for insurance companies

Butterfly.

2011 Nov

Waterproof heartrate and medical detection devices

Wext

2012 Jan

Mobile messaging solutions

Yalla Play

2012 Feb

Online gaming

Sign.Al

2012 Mar

Mobile applications specialized for journalism

Wixel

2012 May

Online gaming

CardioDiagnsotics

2012 Nov

Remote and connected heart monitoring devices

Cook&Eat

2012 Nov

Cooking centered mobile apps and web platforms

Mistile

2012 Nov

Luxury e-commerce web platform

ProBueno

2012 Oct

Volunteering web platform

PayPlug

2012 Oct

Mobile payment solutions