By Sam Bridge
Mubadala says new investment funds will capitalise on the growing start-up scene in the region
Mubadala Capital on Monday announced the launch of its first MENA-focused tech investment funds.
With a total of $250 million, the funds will capitalise on the growing start-up scene in the region while empowering tech talent in the UAE and across the wider region, the company said in a statement.
It added that the funds will include a $150 million “fund of funds” program, which will invest in funds that are committed to supporting the Abu Dhabi-based Hub71 ecosystem, including through investing in companies that leverage Hub71 for regional expansion and growth.
As part of this program, Mubadala Capital also announced that it will commit to three funds as a part of its first funds cohort - San Francisco-based Data Collective Venture Capital (DCVC), Middle East Ventures Partners (MEVP) and Global Ventures.
The investment program will also include a further $100 million fund dedicated for direct investments in early stage technology companies led by exceptional founders that are committed to be part of the Hub71 ecosystem.
The fund will invest in founder-led companies, targeting either enterprise or consumer sectors and aims to invest in a portfolio of 15 companies.
The first investment, from the direct fund, is in Bayzat, a Dubai-based startup that is focused on delivering an exceptional employee experience that’s accessible to every small and medium sized enterprise through a free cloud-based platform.
Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures at Mubadala Capital, said: “After ten years of investing in tech companies around the world, the time has come to leverage the experience and expertise we’ve gained for the benefit of our home market.
"The MENA funds will drive the economic development of Abu Dhabi by stimulating tech investment activity. There’s a huge amount of untapped potential in the UAE and the wider region and we are on the right path to foster more home-grown innovations, attract exceptional talent and accelerate the evolution of a flourishing tech industry in the emirate.”
With offices in Abu Dhabi, London and San Francisco, Mubadala Capital has made investments across the value chain of the technology sector, including committing $15 billion to SoftBank Vision Fund 1.
In the US, the ventures business manages Mubadala Ventures Fund 1, a $400 million early stage venture fund, and a fund of funds program targeting US-based established and emerging managers.
In Europe, the team manages a $400 million fund investing in founders and companies across the continent, as well as a fund of funds program that adheres to a similar strategy as its US counterpart.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.