A bold investment

Shorooq Partners Expands into Türkiye with $5 Million Investment in Traveltech Startup Roamless

Shorooq Partners, a UAE-based alternative investment manager with interests across the MENA region, has made its first foray into Türkiye’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by leading a $5 million seed round in the traveltech startup, Roamless.

The seed round also saw participation from Turkish venture capital firms Revo Capital, Paribu Ventures, and Finberg, as well as Luxembourg-based DeBa Ventures.

Launched in 2023, Roamless is an eSIM provider aiming to revolutionize travel connectivity.

The US-based company now has nearly 100,000 users, offering seamless internet access in 69 countries (soon to be 150+) and international calling experiences worldwide.

This investment aligns with Shorooq Partners’ extensive expertise in fintech, platforms, software, gaming, and Web3.0, as the firm is known for championing visionary startups and propelling them towards success.

Commenting on the investment, Mahmoud Adi, Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners, stated that Roamless is “poised to disrupt the traveltech industry.”

He added, “Roamless’s innovative approach to connectivity aligns with our vision of fostering transformative ventures that redefine traditional paradigms.

This investment not only reflects our confidence in Roamless’s potential but also underscores our commitment to nurturing Türkiye’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.”

Emre Demirel, co-founder and CEO of Roamless, expressed gratitude for the support from Shorooq Partners and other investors, stating, “Their confidence underscores the strength of our team and our relentless pursuit of innovation. With this investment, we are poised to accelerate our mission of spearheading digital transformation in the telecom industry, ushering in a new era of seamless connectivity for travelers worldwide.”

Revo Capital, reportedly the largest VC firm in Türkiye, also participated in Roamless’ seed round.

Its Founding Partner and Managing Director, Cenk Bayrakdar, noted the rapid growth potential of eSIM technology driven by increasing customer awareness.

He expressed confidence in the founding team’s expertise in telecommunications and software.

Utku Dorduncu, Director at Paribu Ventures, added, “We constantly try to identify the next trends and invest in strong teams developing disruptive technologies.

Roamless has been a great fit with its exceptionally strong founding team, advanced back-end infrastructure, and highly differentiated and disruptive eSIM product.”

This marks Shorooq Partners’ first investment in Türkiye, and Adi has plans to build on this presence.

“Türkiye boasts a vibrant and rapidly growing tech ecosystem with a strong talent pool and entrepreneurial spirit,” Adi said.

“The country’s strategic location, bridging Europe and Asia, offers a unique advantage for startups aiming to scale internationally.

Plus, the government’s proactive support for the tech sector, coupled with a dynamic startup environment, aligns well with our investment philosophy of nurturing innovative ventures.

We thus plan to deepen our involvement by establishing local partnerships, fostering relationships with key stakeholders, and potentially setting up a dedicated office to better serve and support Türkiye’s startups.”

When comparing the entrepreneurial ecosystems of MENA and Türkiye, Adi noted both regions share a high level of innovation and entrepreneurial drive, focusing on leveraging technology to solve real-world problems.

However, Türkiye’s ecosystem has seen more exits in certain tech verticals, creating a network of successful startups and angel investors, while the MENA region has seen significant growth in sectors like fintech, logistics, and agritech.

Adi advised entrepreneurs to demonstrate a clear problem-solution fit, articulate how their product or service addresses a significant market need, and present a compelling narrative showcasing innovation and the team’s capability.

Highlighting scalability, potential for regional or global expansion, unique value proposition, market traction, and alignment with Shorooq Partners’ mission is crucial.

Understanding market dynamics and the competitive landscape will also help entrepreneurs stand out.

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