Saudi Technology Ventures, the Riyadh-based largest VC fund of Middle East & North Africa has hired Luca Barbi, a former Principal with Boston Consulting Group as Chief Operating Officer, the firm announced in a statement to MENAbytes today.
“In his new role, Mr. Barbi will further scale and institutionalize STV’s organizational capabilities in identification, backing, and scaling of the region’s most exciting and disruptive technology companies,” said the firm in the statement.
The newly appointed COO brings over 15 years of experience in management consulting and transaction services and has advised organizations across Europe and the Middle East on sectors including technology and investment advisory for Sovereign Wealth Funds, Private Equity Funds, and Family Offices.
During his time with BCG, where he was working as a Principal for firm’s Middle East headquarters in Dubai, he helped new digital players and ecommerce platforms of the region with their strategies and business plans.
He was also Chief Operating Officer of Tiger Hill Capital, a business building and investment company based in Europe.
Commenting on the appointment, Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, STV’s CEO, said: “Luca’s extensive experience in working with some of the leading digital and financial players in the region, will be a tremendous asset for STV. As we work to create scale and deliver impact and returns, Luca’s deep consulting and operational expertise will strongly complement the investment, entrepreneurial and technology capabilities at the firm. This is yet another exciting addition to STV’s multi-disciplinary team, allowing us to continue to provide value-added support to the entrepreneurs and companies we back.”
Commenting on his new role, Luca Barbi added: “For over a decade, my objective has always been to work with organizations that are helping the Middle East achieve its full potential and that’s why I am so excited to be joining STV. I had an immediate click when I met the STV team and was drawn into their vision and unique culture. The economic reforms and wider developments of this region represent an extremely compelling and unique investment opportunity. At the same time, realizing this value requires stamina, creativity, discipline and intellectual rigor.”
In his new role, he will help STV further scale and institutionalize its organizational capabilities in identification, backing, and scaling of the regional technology startups.
This is the third high-profile appointment by STV in less than one year. The firm, last year, had hired Ihsan Jawad, founder and former CEO of Zawya, as a partner. He was previously a managing partner with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP). The firm had also hired Taqnia’s Head of Investments Hani Enaya as a partner last year.