New Bahrain-based $60 mln MENA VC fund sees post-COVID tech wave

DUBAI, Oct 11 (Reuters)A new Bahrain-based $60 million venture capital fund aims to invest in 120 early-stage start-ups across Arabic-speaking MENA countries, banking on the regional growth of tech and tech-enabled business in the post-coronavirus world.

Plus Venture Capital (+VC) aims to close fundraising before the end of the year, which is expected to come from mostly regional institutional investors and family offices.

“We think that future growth in the region will be coming from tech-enabled business; for GDP and for job creation. We saw it happen in the last two recessions,” Plus Venture Capital co-founder Sharif El-Badawi said.

They will make seed stage and series A investments.

As part of efforts to tackle its deficit and diversify the economy, Bahrain has been trying to re-establish itself as a regional finance centre after losing ground to Dubai, and has been marketing itself as a financial technology and start-up

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Russian smartphone market up 5% to 22.5 mln units in first nine months of 2020

The Russian smartphone market grew by 5 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020 to 22.5 million devices, according to data from the operator MTS. Revenues increased by 11 percent to RUB 380 billion, and the average retail  rate of a smartphone grew by 6 percent, to RUB 16,930.

Significant growth in online sales was registered. Online sales jumped by 60 percent in units and were up by 84 percent in value. The average price of a smartphone sold online amounted to RUB 19,700, up by 15 percent year-on-year.

Samsung led the market in volume with a 26 percent share. Honor followed with 24 percent, while Xiaomi, Apple and Huawei took 18 percent, 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

Apple led by revenues with a 33 percent share, and Samsung followed with 27 percent. The indicators of Honor, Xiaomi and Huawei were 16 percent, 13 percent and 5

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