Building strong foundations

This is a very unique moment in time where our economies have been effectively put on fast-forward, where technology has emerged as the clear winner, and where collaboration needs to become second nature. 

It also feels like the ecosystem has witnessed a ‘coming of age’, where the talent behind some of the most successful companies has moved on to build their next startups and their own stories. Three founders from our portfolio fall into the former category.

Additionally, companies that built their respective industries in the region are turning to founders for collaboration and opening up massive opportunities for all stakeholders involved in doing so. We are honored to be working with such partners who have been at the fore-front of their respective industries for decades, and are actively seeking to work with our portfolio.

With our first close now completed, we wanted to lay out some of Nuwa’s core principles as we continue to grow our portfolio.

When we first started setting the principles defining Nuwa Capital, we wanted to place founders at the core of everything we do. The premise of Nuwa is to transform the relationship between investors and founders and to build a better framework to drive value to the founders that are effecting positive change in our markets. 

We also want to build a better framework for investors that are our partners. Beyond simply driving a financial return for our LPs, we see our investors as our true partners in this journey and will work with them to participate in the entrepreneurial process and to have a true impact on the innovation ecosystem forming around them.

We’ve been asked repeatedly what we stand for and now having reached this important milestone, we think it’s important to help define some of those principles

  1. Transparency: We will always be transparent. Perhaps sometimes to a fault, we will always be transparent with our founders and with our partners. At some points, that might seem controversial but we believe in offering our founders and partners as much clarity as possible into our thought process.
  2. Evolution: While VCs tend to preach innovation, we are in an industry that has had limited growth over the past 30 years, both globally and locally. We are keen to experiment, to evolve, and to better our model and change the paradigm. As we move forward, we want to learn from the founders we work with as we challenge the status quo and look to build new paradigms of investing and building companies.
  3. Conviction: Perhaps the hardest part of what we do is building conviction in our investment decisions. While our business model is built around trading and managing risk, we mustn’t lose sight that we must primarily be driven by conviction and once that conviction is achieved, we will back the founders we work with unequivocally. 
  1. Teams and culture: Winning teams build winning businesses and not the other way around. We will always back winning teams, and teams and founders will always be more important than business models or products. Winning teams are teams that are resourceful, resilient, and challengers by nature. 
  2. Solving big problems: As we think about our thesis for our markets, a core tenet is to think about how to back teams that are solving for large problems – whether that is transforming retail, democratizing access to capital markets and credit, revolutionizing healthcare or streamlining the way businesses operate. We want to dream big with the founders we work with.
  3. Transformation: Our firm belief is that innovation and entrepreneurship have the power to transform our economies and provide new  opportunities where none had existed. A society rooted in innovative vibrancy has the power to unleash economic prosperity.

The past year has forced us to change the way we think, our work culture, and our habits. Yet today, after a yearlong global pandemic, our premise has not changed, it has solidified even more. We believe the founders that have taken the leap of faith into starting their own businesses this past year, will be at the forefront of success in the region this coming decade.

As we roll out our thesis, we will undoubtedly have many missteps, and we may, at times, fall short of the very principles we are laying out. We will count on our partners throughout this process to keep us honest and to push back.

Khaled, Sarah and Stephanie Nour

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