The World Bank invests $2.5 million to develop Turkish start-ups

The $2m from the IFC will be reserved for companies focusing on information technology or engineering technology-based products in various sectors. “The target size of Fund II is $30m, of which 80% will be deployed in Turkey and the remaining 20% in Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, to support twenty-five early-stage companies,” the IFC statement said. Its predecessor, 500 Istanbul Fund I, raised more than $500m in additional financing and created more than 3,000 jobs.

“Supporting the development of early-stage ecosystems, particularly during the pandemic, is essential to create a consistent, high-quality pipeline of investment opportunities on which venture capitalists depend,” said Arnaud Dupoizat, IFC Country Director for Turkey. “IFC’s investment with 500 Istanbul aims to support the promising and dynamic start-up ecosystem in Turkey and will be our first Startup Catalyst funding in South East Europe,” he said.

The IFC package will benefit from a €500K co-investment from the Women’s Enterprise Finance Initiative (We-Fi). This partnership, hosted within the World Bank, was launched in October 2017 between fourteen governments and six multilateral development banks. The complement will be used to accelerate support for high-impact start-ups owned or managed by women. “Turkey has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates among countries with similar income levels,” the IFC statement said.