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The Next Wave of Investment Opportunities Regionally

This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Startup Turkey events brings in a discussion based on the general vision of investments especially in the region. This was hosted by Deniz Tuncalp of ITU Ari Teknokent and involved the panelists; Khaled Talhouni of Wamda Capital, Numan Numan of 212 Capital, Hassan Halder of 500-Startups company and Cenk Bayraktar of Revo Capital.

On the first round, Khaled’s future perspective emphasizes that there is need to be optimistic especially because entrepreneurs are in business of selling for returns and having looked at the past 20 years, turmoil created the best time to invest in companies. In terms of company context, look at their 10-year horizon because the macro-view gives a far more positive perspective with an increasing mobile penetration, demographics and education regardless of quality.

Where do investors put their money nowadays? Cenk confirms that they invest in a company with at least five years horizon. It is noted that the region is rich with SMEs though they are behind the western world due to lack of IT, tools and digital usage, which predicts in five years there will be a need for B2B cloud services as an eye opener for investors in order to be more competitive as SMEs will need to shift and be more digital in day-to-day operations. Look at the strength of the market and their problems, as an example of Turkey, we need to see more advancements in fintech so that we can compete in this challenge and solve global issues.

Hassan’s contributes that investors’ confidence both in the region and globally, is evident because global markets have been affected and are increasing significantly by the drop of things like oil prices. In a macro level, there is instability likely to take place but puts a deadline to most governments and ecosystems which makes them shift into knowledge-based economy. This can be looked at as; first, worrying about the ongoing activities in the economy due to the regional oil prices. And secondly, most of them look at what’s next in terms of innovation and where to take money. This kind of worries becomes a challenge especially in youth unemployment, yet the solution is the startups and investing in innovation.

Numan emphasizes that if the biggest option to curb challenges is through investing into the startups of the region, it does not disregard the issue of age-sets in terms of companies that are emerging because they are very few, hence more need for success stories. Turkey is trying to create an ecosystem and evolves in numerous different stages like entrepreneurship, having investors and completing the cycles to make them grow. It’s evident according to Hassan that sometimes there’s a shortage of investors into something new to better these entrepreneurs other than the usual real estate, construction and the likes.

Numan explains that they want to be optimistic by seeing ambition in a potential startup, which shouldn’t allow themselves to be derailed by the economic position that appears through media.

─ March 2, 2020