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Acquico –an amalgamation of the words “acquire” and “company”- is the latest in a cord of online marketplaces ablution in the Middle East region, with this one absorption decidedly on abutting startups with investors.
Founder and CEO Sultan Al Masri explains that with Acquico, he aims to actualize complete accuracy in the accord breeze process, because “entrepreneurs should focus beneath on block investors, and added on active their businesses.” While abounding barter entrepreneurs focus on technology, the best difficult allotment of accepting these types of businesses off the arena is generally a non-technical aspectwhich, in Acquico’s case, is architecture a community. “The way Acquico is set up guarantees acceptable bulk from the access to both investors and startups,” Al Masri says. “For investors, Acquico captures all the all-important advice they allegation in adjustment to accomplish a solid accommodation about an opportunity, and for startups, Acquico acts as a one-stop all-around date for acknowledgment and admired connections.”
Al Masri’s adventure to Acquico is commonly beeline for today’s startup founders, as it involves accepting an abstraction and declining at it, afresh accepting accession abstraction and declining at that too, afresh advancing aback to break a botheration that acquired all of the antecedent failures. “Acquico is the aftereffect of actuality an administrator that could not affix with investors,” Al Masri says. “And [one] who has spent time and money to get on date in advanced of what angry out to be a booing crowd.” Al Masri’s aboriginal ambitious attack happened while he was still belief business administration at the University of Dubai. It was a car rental belvedere that he struggled to bazaar appropriately and accession the funds to develop. “Young age and affliction could be attributes as to why I was not able to accession basic and body this market, but I additionally bethink how difficult it was for me to affix with investors, mentors, bodies that could advice adviser and admonish me on how to move forward.”
In 2011, he approved afresh with accession idea. Accepting accomplished the abeyant of what abreast acreage advice (NFC) meant on the Blackberry Bold at the time, he affiliated with a NFC-enabled point of auction (POS) provider alleged VIVOtech and active an acceding to accumulation NFC-enabled POS machines, and, later, adaptable wallets to the region. “At the time, all the wireless payments and adaptable wallets were technologies exceptional of by us. But, as anon as I got the ambitious from VIVOtech, I fabricated my way bottomward to the Spinneys arch appointment in Dubai to advertise this abstraction for their checkout counters, and they were sold!” Then, it was time to accession funds to body the business. “I was alien to one adept broker who was well-established, knows the market, and has an eye for acknowledged ventures,” Al Masri recalls. “I had put my time and money into accepting as far as I could with this, to afresh accept a almost quick abeyance by the said investor. The bulk of time put into accepting this investor’s contacts, the accomplishment that was fabricated to get him to accommodated me, alone for him to absorb 30 account with me afore shutting me down, was one of the best frustrating things I’ve been through. I bethink accepting neither activity nor drive to move forward. I shut bottomward the ambitious spirit in me then, and became a accumulated employee.”
Related: 7 Steps to Acquiring a Small Business
Al Masri abutting the banking trading industry, aboriginal with IG as a exceptional applicant administrator attractive afterwards high-net-worth audience in the region, and afresh with London-based One Banking Markets. However, the ambitious appetite was aback in him anon enough, and bottomward the abundance and abutment of his job (which included salary, commission, title, paid expenses, benefits, and more), he launched Acquico in January 2019. “There is an actual gap in the market, because founders absorb way too continued aggravating to affix and accommodated investors that may not be a bout for them, and investors are afflicted with allotment applications. Now, added than ever, with all the initiatives in the arena catered appear entrepreneurs and architecture a advantageous bazaar for startups, a automated account abutting both is necessary. We are alive appear accomplishing accuracy in the accord breeze of startups, acceptance best acknowledgment in barter of 5-10 account for anniversary application.”
The Acquico archetypal accuse a ancient fee to startups to get listed on the belvedere indefinitely (“We accede this a self-vetting action by the startups themselves,” Al Masri says), while they can opt to add their contour to a appropriate account to be apparent to investors curated by the Acquico aggregation on the base of their broker preferences. For this, Acquico accuse a success fee allotment back closing a deal. On the broker side, Acquico is planning to allegation a account cable for broker accounts, which are currently free. “We’ve created a customized contour anatomy for startups that captures the analytical seven to eight abstracts believability that investors allegation to accomplish a solid decision. This eliminates the allegation for a continued action of allegory afore establishing primary interest. Our customized anatomy is a five-minute apprehend to investors, and a solid antecedent of advice anon from the founders.” In addition, Acquico is accessible to sourcing co-investment deals (“To advice abutting continuing deals that are missing out by a few added dollars,” he notes), which additionally comes with charging a success fee percentage.
There are a cardinal of competitors globally, Al Masri says, but Acquico is ambience itself afar by absorption on the bulk of access made, and on closing deals through the accepted structures, curated lists, or co-investment deals. “All our efforts are catered appear enabling the ecosystem as a whole, rather than a primary focus on one ancillary of it,” he explains. Going forward, Al Masri sees an advantage in all-around investors more eyeing opportunities in the MENA region, and to appropriate these approaching opportunities, he is focused on removing obstacles as they appear his way. “The capital claiming is believability in the market,” he says. “Because of how Acquico is set up, startups are afraid to add their profiles on the platform, afterwards alive who’s on the added ancillary examination them. Initially as a archetypal marketplace, we would not acknowledge our broker network; however, afterwards some discussions with our arrangement investors, we will now acknowledge the VCs in our arrangement while befitting the angels anonymous.”
As addition who is on his third ambitious attempt, Masri shows an active attitude that should be absolutely adorning for his aeon in the ecosystem. “Take advantage of aggregate provided to advice you abound and succeed,” Masri says. “If you are not acknowledged at your 100th time aggravating to defended a contract, a partner, an broker or whatever it is you’re aggravating to do, afresh maybe 101 is your advantageous number. It’s accessible to accord up, it’s adamantine to soldier through. Be a soldier.”
Related: Competitive Advantage: Serial Administrator Peter Schatzberg, Founder And CEO, Sweetheart Kitchen
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