July 12, 2022
We had an interesting discussion with NOMU Ventures, a Venture Studio based in Saudi Arabia. The Studios focuses on building and growing tech-enabled startups. Their goal is to build the next generation of startups in Saudi that have the potential to scale in the MENA region and abroad.NOMU Ventures is a member of our vast community; let’s introduce you to it.Why a startup studio? What are your thoughts on the studio model?MENA region is ramping up for its first large-scale success stories and, we expect, what Rocket Internet did for Europe at the time, will happen in MENA too – namely, the “graduating” senior leads in these companies will look for new places to be and new startups to launch. This is where studios come in with their attractive offering of funding and resources. Here are 3 core reasons why we believe startup studios will be blooming in the upcoming 12-18 months:1) Proper deal flow engine for later stage VCs2) Experienced hands-on support and operational expertise3) The right Speed to marketHow does your startup studio find the right team for your studio and your portfolio companies?We spend a considerable amount of time finding the right talent for the studio and the ventures as our human capital directly define our asset class. Venture Leads (or EIRs), are perhaps, the most necessary piece of the puzzle in the studio model. In essence, the role is of a moving CEO who is industry agnostic, passionate about building 0-1, constantly learning, product-oriented, well connected to marketing, operations, and customer service is both hands-on and strategic, and importantly – self-motivated – a breed of talent that is so unique and rare as unicorns themselves. This is the magic source that drives the ventures forward on a proven set of rails, and, potentially, is the reason why studios produce 5x unicorns compared to classic VCs. Our recruitment process is quite thorough, and most of the time involves hand-on, real-life experiments before confirming a fit - we are all about execution!How does your startup studio develop new ideas for potential companies? And how do you select the best ideas to focus on?We’re strong believers that it’s much better to observe problems in the world and come up with solutions for them … rather than doing brainstorming exercises. Sometimes those can lead to contrived ideas. So we try really hard across our portfolio to find patterns of things that are broken, problems that exist in industries we operate in, where whitespaces could exist, and note those problems. And we have a process for whittling those ideas down, testing them, getting smarter about them, engaging experts and ultimately choosing which of them we want to build.What startups are in your portfolio now, and what startups do you have in the works?After less than 3 years of operations, NOMU Ventures has a portfolio of 5 startups:1. Jumlaty: bulk e-groceries app2. Masareefy: fintech solution to finance SMEs growth3. Hisabi: mobile-first business management platform for SMBs to leverage tools like inventory management, billing, E-invoicing4. Prondl: modern online accounting platform designed specifically to meet the new needs of Saudi Arabia5. TWH: lease swap platform.