Intel Capital Gives Turkey A Shot In The Arm With The Opening Of An Istanbul Office


Turkey has been a growing market for venture capital. Today, Intel Capital gave it another vote of confidence: it announced the opening of an office in Istanbul.

The Turkish economy has been growing smartly despite the financial woes in Europe and in the United States. With GDP up 8.5% last year and projected to expand 3.3% this year, economic activity is on the rise.

In a statement, Intel Capital said it is the first Silicon Valley based firm to open an office in the country. The office will be led by Baris Aksoy, who was recently named head of Intel Capital in Turkey and the Middle East and North African regions.

Intel Capital has been investing in the region since 2005. Two recent Turkish investments are digital media company Nokta and Grupanya, a social commerce company.

Here is the press release from today’s announcement.

INTEL CAPITAL OPENS OFFICE IN TURKEY

Intel Capital is the first Silicon Valley investor to open an office in Turkey, building upon a strong track record in the region

TURKEY, June 1, 2012 – Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organisation, announced today the opening of an office in Turkey. Intel Capital is the first global technology investment organization headquartered in Silicon Valley with a dedicated office in the country. The office will be located in Istanbul and led by Baris Aksoy, Head of Intel Capital, Turkey & Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.

Intel Capital has already been investing in the region since 2005. The two most recent investments in Turkish companies include Nokta, Turkey’s third largest digital media company, and Grupanya, a leading social commerce company.

Intel Capital is dedicated to facilitate further economic growth in the region by supporting the local Venture Capital ecosystem and offering entrepreneurs in the region value beyond equity. Our expertise, connections, programs, and overall brand value create a distinct advantage that enhances our relationships with entrepreneurs, opening doors to new markets, customers, alliances, co-investors, and emerging technologies.

Marcin Hejka, Managing Director, Intel Capital Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “The appointment of Baris to lead the office illustrates our objective of adding outstanding investors with strong leadership qualities to our regional investment team. We are proud to have Baris on board and look forward to investing in more startups in the region.”

Commenting on the announcement, Baris Aksoy, Head of Intel Capital, Turkey & MENA said:
“I relish the opportunity to return to Turkey and lead Intel Capital’s presence.  I believe there is tremendous value in having an on-the-ground presence to work closely with local entrepreneurs. The new Intel Capital office in Turkey will provide entrepreneurs in Turkey & MENA region greater access to capital as well as growth resources including our global network and technological expertise. I look forward to building on our already strong local track record to continue enabling sustained technology innovation and help grow successful companies across the region.”

Since 2008 and up until most recently, Baris was based in Silicon Valley focused on making and managing global investments in the rapidly-growing Internet and Media segments. In addition to leading the Turkish investments in Nokta and Grupanya, Baris’s other successful Intel Capital investments include Kno (an innovative tablet-based education company), OpenFeint (largest mobile gaming network – acquired by Gree, Inc), Crowdstar (a developer of social games on Facebook and mobile platforms), and Yume (leading online video advertising platform.) Prior to joining Intel Capital, Baris was an investor at University Venture Fund and was an early employee of Calix NYSE: CALX)Baris holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and also a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.

About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, health, consumer Internet, digital media, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10.6 billion in over 1,234 companies in 51 countries. In that timeframe, 199 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 296 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2011, Intel Capital invested US$526 million in 158 investments with approximately 51 percent of funds invested outside the U.S. and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.

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