Iranian Banks Have Started Investing into High-Tech Start-Ups
“We expect increase in the volume of bank investments into start-ups by March 2018 due to the progress we achieved in negotiations with Bank Sepah, Export Development Bank of Iran, Tourism Bank, Bank Keshavarzi, Post Bank, and Bank Refah,” Deputy Vice President for Development and Investment Alireza Daliri told the reporters of Tasnim News.
“We started negotiations with those banks and the National Development Fund of Iran in 2013 with regard to raising funds for developing science-driven companies… None of the banks was interested in investing its money into that sector,” – Daliri said.
BMI and President’s Office for Science and Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July in order to create a new start-up and innovation support center.
BMI was reported last week to have purchased 25% of shares of TAP30 company, a popular web application for order taking, for 800 billion rials (20 million dollars).
TAP30 is the second most popular service channel in Iran and the first one providing its services outside Tehran. At present, 95 qualified specialists and 15,000 drivers are employed by TAP30.
Snapp, the leading Iranian start-up, has recently attracted over 900 billion rials (24 million dollars) of investments from MTN. Daliri did not clarify whether the investments into start-ups were made by the creditors themselves or via their investment subsidiaries.
As per Iranian legislation, banks are not allowed to perform nonbank activities. Nonetheless, the banking supervision plan signed by President Hassan Rouhani early July allows the banking sector to finance innovation schemes that “will have a positive impact on the growth of knowledge-consumptive economy”.
At present, 3 037 high tech companies are registered in Iran including 1 751 start-ups and 867 companies working in industrial sector.
Editorial note by Iran.ru: Start-up is a newly founded company undergoing its development and using either innovative ideas or fresh technologies in its work.