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Two of the managing partners of 500 Startups’ MENA-focused fund, 500 Falcons, are parting ways with the VC platform to launch their own fund. 

Sharif El-Badawi and Hasan Haider, the managing partners in question, will now be replaced by Bedy Yang as the new managing partner for Falcons I and Rina Onur as an advisor, 500 Falcons said in a statement. 

While 500 Startups has been actively investing in MENA since 2012, the platform launched a dedicated MENA-focused fund (500 Falcons) in 2017 under the leadership of Shariff and Hasan.

In 2019, the fund was closed with a sizable fund worth $33 million, which 500 Falcons used to invest in more than 175 startups in different phases of growth, including pre-seed.

The details of the new fund by Sharif and Hasan will be available sometime in the coming few weeks. Despite parting ways, both of them will be supporting Falcon’s portflio over the next year-and-a-half.Meanwhile, 500 has clearly hinted that it will now be more focused on later-stage seed rounds. 

In an email to the portfolio companies, Hasan Haider, mentioned: “As some of you may know, our first fund, 500 Falcons, has nearly completed its initial investments, and has mostly deployed the follow on capital available to it. When it came time to look at our next fund, it was also a natural time for 500 to review and evolve the strategy for the MENA region.” 

“As the ecosystem has evolved with a greater need for capital across stages, we are pleased to share that we plan to launch an independent fund to invest in companies at a slightly later seed stage. 500 Startups’ approach to the region is also evolving, although it will also continue to invest in the region via new funds and initiatives which you will hear more about soon,” it added.