By Gavin Gibbon
Collaboration aimed at strengthening Abu Dhabi's digital economy and start-up ecosystem
Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has transferred its AED535 million ($145.7m) Ventures Fund, a flagship Ghadan 21 initiative, to ADQ.
The fund, which invests in start-ups and venture capital (VC) funds across the emirate, will now be part of ADQ’s broader venture capital programme.
The move is part of a collaboration between ADQ (formerly Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company) and ADIO to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s digital economy and start-up ecosystem, ADQ will be responsible for driving equity investments in early-stage companies and VC funds, while ADIO will oversee the management of incentives and other forms of support.
Dr Tariq bin Hendi, director-general of ADIO, said: "We are proud to see the economic impact the Ventures Fund has made so far. With ADIO and ADQ working together, innovative early-stage companies will now have new opportunities as well as access to the capital and networks they need to realise their ambitions in the emirate and internationally."
The Ventures Fund has committed approximately AED200m ($54.5m) since it was launched in May 2019 to more than 15 companies and funds in its portfolio.
Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, CEO of ADQ, added: "The combination of what ADQ and ADIO can offer to early-stage start-ups is powerful and strategic. We are both committed to nurturing the development of cutting-edge technologies and solutions to advance Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and augment Abu Dhabi’s position as a highly developed and progressive economy."
The fund is one of the initiatives launched by the AED50 billion ($13.6bn) three-year Ghadan 21 programme, to focus on economy, knowledge and community. Others include global tech start-up ecosystem Hub71; ADIO’s AED1bn ($272m) AgTech Incentive Programme; and the Abu Dhabi Instant Licence to fast-track business set-up.