The first Azerbaijani Venture Fund named “Caucasus Ventures” was officially launched on November 29, 2022.
The main goal of the fund is to invest in early-stage startups globally with the focus on Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe within the next five years.
The fund will create favorable conditions for the development of Azerbaijan’s innovation ecosystem, stimulate the formation of investment culture in the country, and attract the attention of foreign startups and investors to the local market. The venture fund will make an important contribution to the development of startups by ensuring financial flow in the innovation ecosystem.
The total budget of the venture fund is 11.3 million manat ($6.6 million). Two anchor partners – PASHA Holding and Innovation and Digital Development Agency allocated 5 million manat ($2.9 million) each into the fund, while the other six individual investors, including the general partner, invested about 1.3 million manat ($760,000) to the total fund’s budget.
The Minister of Digital Development and Transport, Rashad Nabiyev, mentioned during the commencement presentation on November 29, 2022: “Today we laid the foundation of the cooperation calculated for the future of the innovation ecosystem of our country. Caucasus Ventures will open wide opportunities for the development of innovation infrastructure, optimization of the business environment, attraction of foreign investors to the country and introduction of local projects to foreign markets.”
Jalal Gasimov, Chief Executive Officer of PASHA Holding shared his opinion: “I hope that the first Venture Capital we established today will be sustainable and the number of such funds in the country will increase many times in the future. In this way, it is very important that the first venture capital is successful, and PASHA Holding will do what is necessary for the success of the fund.”
Mammad Karim, the general partner of the Caucasus Ventures fund, said: “The institutionalization of venture financing, which is one of the important tools of the startup ecosystem, and its establishment by the existing legislation shows that the investment environment in the country is ready for serious enough projects. I am very glad that we announced these opportunities not only for startups in the country, but also for regional startups.”
Farid Musayev, one of the private entrepreneurs who supported the establishment of the fund, said: “Investment opportunities in the innovative sector are a new concept for investors in the country. I think that the entry of financial instruments such as venture fund into the market will further increase the interest in this area. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in financing opportunities for mainly local startups.”