Preparing for your Middle Eastern capital raise in 2024

From our team to yours, our best wishes for a very prosperous and peaceful 2024. 

Maybe you’ve had our region on the radar for some time or perhaps you’ve become curious more recently having seen the exodus of big names from the West to the Gulf. Whatever the driver to reading this paper, welcome! We’d be honoured to be your guide to the region and help you succeed here.

Let’s start with a reality check.

Contrary to most of the social media about Dubai and its neighbours, the streets are not paved with gold (!) & investors are not desperate to meet you the moment you step off your long-haul flight. This is a highly sophisticated, meritocratic economy blessed with extraordinary wealth and opportunity that is only available to the most prepared and committed new entrants. It’s a region that thinks & acts very long term & values relationships that can stand the test of that time. If your product, service or investment opportunity doesn’t add value locally, don’t expect to raise capital. If you or your team want to trip in and out of the region on a long term basis, don’t expect to raise capital.  

But,

If you’re willing to do what it takes to place yourself in the top 5% of fund managers and founders targeting the region, the financial, social & familial rewards are unmatched anywhere in the world right now.

So,

Here’s some of our favourite hacks to help you prepare for a wildly successful campaign here in the Gulf:

Stories before statistics – The #1 reason many firms don’t get initial traction is a reliance upon charts, data & factsheets with a complete absence of the founder/team story & client/user case studies. Investors in the region are initially buying you (not your products, solutions or past awards).

Repel to attract – Many firms with a limited product range and brand awareness will not appeal to everybody. This is fine! Close down conversations which aren’t going anywhere so you can spend more time on those that are.

Local footprint – For every dollar you seek to raise, be willing to invest 5% now in having Middle Eastern infrastructure on the ground. Sales people, local entities, feeder funds, interns, academic research programmes…

The importance of networking – Make sure to bring your ‘MVP’ most charismatic networker to all calls and meetings. You will not raise capital here without a network.

Social media – Posting video and headshots at least 3 times per week on LinkedIn wakes up the algo – avoid commenting on financial/industry news. Instead, tell the story of your founders, team & clients.

Marketing budget – Investors smell boot-strapping funds and founders at 100 paces. If you want to raise serious money in the Gulf, allocators expect to see you allocate serious time and money to being visible & local.

Different, not better – Somewhere in your storyline is why you’re so different than your peers. Find that difference and don’t waste time on pitching ‘better’.

Define your edge  What is the single most important thing you do which creates great outcomes for your clients that few others can match?

Brevity – A 1 page teaser is always more impactful than a 36 page deck.

2x everything – Setting expectations – even in the ‘Capital of Capital’ it will be twice as hard to raise money, it will take twice as long and cost twice as much.

Localise – In over 12 years in the region we have never seen a ticket written from just one visit. People buy people here, not products or services. They want to see you regularly & they expect to see you put down roots locally to really unlock capital and open doors.

We’re on hand ready to help you, so what are you waiting for…?

Reach out now