19 episodes


The Nuwa Capital podcast Nuwa Capital

    • Business


    #canceled - Episode 1

    #canceled - Episode 1

    Introducing our #canceled series:

    Every Friday afternoon, we set up in our meeting room and discuss market developments, hot topics - give or take a few tangents - to wind down and conclude the week. Totally unscripted, and very, very lightly edited.

    Ep. 1 features Khaled Talhouni, Stephanie Nour Prince, Nitin Reen, Arnav Danthi, Ghassan Noursi and special guest Mikail Malik.

    Ep. 1 was recorded on May 13.

    • 35 min
    Episode 17 - Reliable online infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to any digital economy

    Episode 17 - Reliable online infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to any digital economy

    Traditionally, startups have had to face large delays prior to launch due to the need to build infrastructure and core back-end functionalities in-house, such as the acceptance of payments. This takes up valuable resources, and shrinks the amount of time developers have to build the startup’s core product/service.

    Realizing this issue is faced by every startup and can be commoditized, many infrastructure-as-a-service / API-first startups emerged, enabling startups to outsource these core functionalities and add them via third-party integrations, making their path to market faster and easier.

    However, as startups today have increased their dependence on these third-party services, they face some friction. This has led to a second wave of infrastructure-led startups, like MoneyHash, a Nuwa portfolio company.

    For episode 17 of our podcast, we chatted with Nader Abdelrazik, cofounder of MoneyHash. We dug into the MoneyHash culture, the challenges faced by regional startups with payments and how MoneyHash platform will help solve them.

    • 50 min
    Episode 16 - Building equity value alongside founders

    Episode 16 - Building equity value alongside founders

    The tech ecosystem across MENA is young but rapidly evolving. As recently as a few years ago, startups were restricted to fundraise from limited sources of capital, predominantly from a handful of VCs or angel investors. Today, with increasingly more capital entering the ecosystem, the capital base has diversified, with an innovative set of players such as super angels, solo GPs, and syndicates arriving and changing the game.

    Investment in MENA-based companies has more than doubled in the last 2 years, going from ~$1B in investments in 2020 to ~$2.6B in 2021 according to Magnitt. With the increased availability of capital, early-stage companies are raising faster and larger rounds to double or triple down on growth, bolstering further startup activity. While capital is cheaper, it has also never been more important for founders to pause and reflect on who they want to partner with and who is best positioned to support them.

    So for Episode 16 of our podcast, we chatted with Chad Fox, solo GP of Fox Ventures. Both Nuwa Capital and Fox Ventures have backed the stellar teams of baraka and MoneyHash, and Chad’s reputation as a value add investor makes him a force to be reckoned with. We go into Chad’s thinking on fintech, and his emerging market investment thesis.

    • 51 min
    Episode 15 - On changing food habits and the waning ‘need to cook’

    Episode 15 - On changing food habits and the waning ‘need to cook’

    Two years ago, many of us went through some sort of a reset in terms of how we think of, prepare, and consume food. With more time spent at home, some resorted to making their own bread and nut butters, while food delivery still soared. This, however, may have only acted as an accelerant to an existing trend: MENA is witnessing an increased adoption of health-conscious food choices, in line with global trends: over 60% of the region’s population has adopted a healthier lifestyle over 2020/21, according to PWC. With people increasingly back on the go, allocating time to prepare or order the right meals matching one’s health and fitness goals becomes quite the commitment - enter Calo.

    For episode 15 of our podcast, recorded a few weeks ago, we chatted with Ahmed Alrawi and Moayed Almoayed, co-founders of Calo. Calo lifts the burden of preparing or choosing adequate, quality meals from consumers working on reaching their fitness goals or managing health conditions - and since its inception, the company has seen explosive growth, becoming the leader in health-conscious ready-to-eat meals in under a year in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. 

    We dug into the Calo culture, the technology, and how Ahmed and Moayed seem to have cracked the code when it comes to meal customization and end-to-end operations.

    • 41 min
    Episode 14 - Pet care, healthtech, e-pharma, and unexpected parallels between Europe and MENA

    Episode 14 - Pet care, healthtech, e-pharma, and unexpected parallels between Europe and MENA

    The global pet care industry was estimated to be at c. $200B in 2020. It is, in fact, larger than the baby care market (c. $70B) and trailing shortly behind the child care industry (c. $270B), with pet owners spending more and at a higher rate on their pets. In MENA, the market remains a bit of a curiosity, with pet ownership seemingly on the rise and a tangible change in perception of what taking care of a pet entails. In the last two years alone, there has been a flurry of new products and services on offer to satisfy every pet’s dietary, accessories, and care needs.

    In Episode 14 of our podcast, we spoke to Florian Seubert, cofounder and venture partner at Maxburg Capital Partners. Florian started his career at JP Morgan before launching Europe’s largest pet supplies e-commerce platform, Zooplus. We dive into what it took to build a successful pet care company at the cusp of the dot-com boom and Zooplus’s subsequent expansion to over 30 European markets.

    Our conversation with Florian drew an interesting and unexpected parallel between the European and MENA markets, from digitization (or lack thereof), scaling in fragmented markets, and the potential of industry roll-ups. Florian also shares his insight on the evolution of the tech landscape in Europe, particularly within healthtech and e-pharma, and how Maxburg Capital Partners is laying the foundations for the future of tech on the continent.

    • 37 min
    Episode 13 - Is the mental health space about to have its penicillin moment?

    Episode 13 - Is the mental health space about to have its penicillin moment?

    Similar to the healthcare industry, the mental health care and provision system was built for and within an environment that has since greatly shifted. While the mental healthcare system has traditionally depended on therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, the supply of qualified professionals is thin, particularly in MENA. Research in the space has stalled, particularly on specificity of treatments or discovery of new treatments as a whole, and data tends to be extremely scarce. This is, again, even more so the case in MENA. By and large, the mental health and wellness space will need to catch up to adequately serve our post-2020 world.

    We may still be at the cusp of a shift in mindset when it comes to mental health in the region, but there is a tangible, sharp rise in awareness, particularly post-pandemic. The evolution of the space, it seems, hinges more than ever on technology, coupled with substantial developments in research.

    A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting Fares Ghandour, cofounder of Tuhoon. We have known Fares for years, as one of the earliest investors in MENA, and were keen on listening to his experience of moving to the operator side, and building a company in a sector that is, perhaps, about to see its own penicillin moment.

    • 45 min

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