The Oman Investment Fund, the government venturing arm of the Omani government, has become an anchor investor in a $15m fund established by VC firm 500 Startups, according to TechCrunch.

The Qatar Science and Technology Park has also made an anchor investment.

The fund will focus exclusively on startups based in the Middle East and North Africa. To date, 500 Startups has made 39 investments in the region through various other funds.

The fund will be headed by managing director Hasan Haider. He will be based in Bahrain with regular trips expected to regional startup hubs such as Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai and Doha.

The fund’s target size is $30m, though a timeline for a second close has not been revealed.

Haider said: “Right now government-supported programs are incentivising people to set up VC funds. M&A interest is coming from Europe and the Far East.”