$145m fund opens to boost Abu Dhabi's start-up, VC ecosystem

Abu Dhabi Investment Office announces it has opened the Ghadan Ventures Fund to support start-ups, venture capital
$145m fund opens to boost Abu Dhabi's start-up, VC ecosystem
Managed by ADIO, the new fund is part of the government’s Ghadan 21 programme that is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy.
By Sam Bridge
Tue 07 May 2019 02:42 PM

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) announced on Tuesday that it has opened the AED535 million ($145.6 million) Ghadan Ventures Fund to support the emirate's growing venture capital and start-up ecosystem.

Managed by ADIO, the new fund is part of the government’s Ghadan 21 programme that is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy.

The Ghadan Ventures Fund has two key programmes that have been designed to increase the availability of capital for Abu Dhabi based start-ups, as well as serve as a catalyst for new fund managers seeking to establish themselves in the capital.

The Start-up Matching Fund will work to stimulate Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial landscape by increasing the amount of capital available for seed and early stage companies.

As part of the initiative, ADIO will match a start-up’s lead VC investment dirham for dirham, up to AED10 million for seed rounds, and AED50 million for Series ‘A’ per round.

To help grow the number of VC funds operating in the emirate, ADIO has also launched the New Managers Fund under which newly formed Abu Dhabi-based VCs can apply for fund matching, based on the amount they raise in the private market.

Elham Abdulghafoor Mohamed AlQasim, CEO of ADIO and executive director of the Ghadan 21 programme, Abu Dhabi Executive Office, said: “Entrepreneurialism will be a key driver of Abu Dhabi’s economy and we are working to further enable local entrepreneurial talent, attract global entrepreneurs and build a thriving integrated start-up ecosystem.”

He added: “The objective of the Ghadan Ventures Fund is two-fold - we are helping new VCs establish in Abu Dhabi to ensure local start-ups have access to more investors whilst also driving the establishment and growth of start-ups in Abu Dhabi by increasing the amount of investment capital available in the market.”

The fund was recently announced in conjunction with the launch of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 to help the development of the start-up ecosystem.

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