Egyptian venture capital firm Algebra Ventures hits first close of second fund at $100M

Last April, Egyptian and MENA-focused venture capital firm Algebra Ventures announced the launch of its $90 million second fund . It was the sequel to its first: a $54 million fund invested in 21 startups across Egypt and the Middle East.  While Algebra Ventures predicted it would reach its first close in Q3 2021, the firm had to wait an entire year to achieve that. However, the lag afforded Algebra Ventures enough time to exceed what it initially earmarked for the fund. The firm disclosed in a statement that it has finalized a $100 million first close and expects to reach its final close by the end of Q1 2023.  Since its inception in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed Egypt’s top startups in various industries. They include names such as Halan, Brimore , Trella , elmenus, Khazna , Yodawy, Mozare3 and Shift EV. In a past interview, managing partners  Tarek Assaad  and  Karim Hussein  told TechCrunch that the firm hopes to back 31 startups from the second fund, which focuses on seed

GIC backs Indian EV startup Euler Motors in $60 million funding

Euler Motors, an Indian startup that designs and builds commercial electric vehicles, has raised $60 million in a new funding round as it works to ramp up its production capacity and broaden its offerings. Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC led the New Delhi-headquartered startup’s Series C funding. Blume Ventures, Athera Venture Partners, QRG, ADB Ventures and Moglix also participated in the funding, which values Euler Motors at $200 million. Long before the Olas of the world ventured into building an electric bike, which occasionally catches fire, Euler Motors tested hundreds of prototypes and clocked millions of miles to see if they can weather the conditions of Indians roads and extreme temperature range. The result is an electric cargo three-wheeler called HiLoad EV that features several industry record-breaking features including a payload capacity of 688 kg (1516 pound). It is powered by a 12.4 KWh liquid cooled battery pack that takes up to four hours to charge, but supports fa

Prosus cancels $4.7 billion acquisition of India’s BillDesk

Prosus has scrapped the $4.7 billion acquisition of BillDesk it announced last year, once stated to be the European technology giant’s largest, saying “certain conditions” were unfulfilled in a surprising move a month after the proposed acquisition received from the local antitrust watchdog the approval to proceed . “Certain conditions precedent were not fulfilled by the 30 September 2022 long stop date, and the agreement has terminated automatically in accordance with its terms and, accordingly, the proposed transaction will not be implemented,” Amsterdam-listed Prosus said in a statement Monday without identifying those conditions. The all-cash acquisition, announced at the peak of the bull cycle last year, was slated to be the second largest M&A deal in the South Asian market’s consumer internet space. In recent quarters, as the market has turned, many promised deals have fallen apart globally. The investment arm of Naspers — which has invested close to $6 billion in India

UK pauses data reform bill to rethink how to replace GDPR

The UK government has confirmed another pause to draft digital legislation under new prime minister Liz Truss’ reshuffled cabinet — saying the data reform bill it had introduced in  recent months is on hold while ministers take another look. The paused bill contained a package of amendments to the UK’s data protection regime, which remains based on a pan-European Union framework — tweaking rules for personal data processing in areas like consent for online tracking; data for scientific research; public sector data use and sharing; and easing certain regulations for small businesses, as well as mooting changes to the data regulator itself — with the government projecting it would yield savings for businesses of over £1BN over ten years. However that reform is now on pause as the Truss-led government rethinks. The fresh-in-post secretary of state for digital, Michelle Donelan, gave over the first chunk of her Conservative Party conference speech Monday to a headline-grabbing (but und

John Curtius is leaving Tiger Global to start his own venture fund

John Curtius, the prolific Tiger Global senior partner who has been at the center of some of the firm’s biggest deals in the last several years, is leaving the firm, TechCrunch has learned. He will be leaving to start his own firm, which will concentrate investments from Series A to Series C. Curtius will stay with Tiger until June, sources say. The Tiger Global quarterly investor letter that it sent out earlier today also confirms the news. Investments for Curtius’s new firm will focus on B2B software as a service, apps, infrastructure, AI and machine learning, we understand. No crypto. Why the decision to leave? From what we understand, Curtius, who, in the past worked at Silver Lake and Elliott Management, has long wanted to start his own firm and now felt like it was the right time in the market to do so. The new firm has yet to start raising funds, but Curtius has a big, strong network through his prolific work at Tiger, which has included hundreds of investments from companie

The Supreme Court takes on Section 230

Section 230 of the Communications Act, which prevents online platforms from being liable for the content posted by their users, will be evaluated by the Supreme Court in the coming season. It’s anyone’s guess how it may be affected, but we can be sure that the regulatory landscape for tech will look rather different this time next year. We’ve discussed Section 230 many times on TechCrunch, and legal definitions and precedents can be found elsewhere, so we need not delve into the particulars for now. It suffices to say that this section of the law essentially says that as long as reasonable measures are taken to address illegal and objectionable material on their platforms, companies like Alphabet and Meta cannot be held accountable for that material. There are limitations and exceptions to how this protection works, but the law functions as a “safe harbor” in which companies can operate without worrying that they’ll be sued for defamation over something posted by a user. The questi

Rivian taps Capital One exec Diane Lye as its first CIO

Rivian has hired Diane Lye as its first chief information officer, a position that the EV maker says is necessary to expand globally. Lye’s hiring comes as Rivian consolidates its internal and external technology teams across its numerous departments, including manufacturing IT and customer-facing digital products. It is also ahead of Rivian’s planned expansion into Georgia, where it is building another factory , and overseas through a partnership with Mercedes-Benz . Rivian said IT and cybersecurity will need to become more sophisticated as it scales globally. The appointment also comes amid a restructuring that resulted in layoffs of about 6% of its workforce and executive changes, including the appointment of Frank Klein as its new chief operating officer. IT and cybersecurity infrastructure are critical components — some argue the foundation — for any company, regardless of size. In Rivian’s case, the company isn’t just large (about 14,000 people work there) it has a widening

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