Abu Dhabi Investment Office Invests in new Batch of Innovation and Fintech Startups28. January 2020
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) announced AED 60 million of investment in the latest batch of startups and fund managers applying to its Ventures Fund. The recipients, Securrency, TruKKer, Sarwa, YACOB and Okadoc, are innovation-focused companies that are either based in Abu Dhabi or expanding into the emirate. ADIO also signed its first investment in a venture capital firm, UAE based Global Ventures.
ADIO’s Ventures Fund opened in May 2019, as an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme. The fund is supporting the growth of Abu Dhabi’s startup and venture capital ecosystem by increasing access to capital and stimulating the number of high skilled jobs in the UAE capital’s growing technology sector.
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said:
“The Ventures Fund was created to deepen Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and ensure big thinking is not constrained by limited capital. Once a startup is operational, Abu Dhabi is safe ground for innovation and a place where entrepreneurs can confidently take commercial and creative risks. ADIO is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, we want to give startups the opportunity to become the next regional, or perhaps even global, tech success story.”
Global Ventures received funding through the Ventures Fund’s New Fund Manager Programme, which matches every dirham raised by the VC in the private market. The company is a growth-focused VC investing in revenue-generating enterprise technology companies that can scale and create impact in emerging markets.
Noor Sweid, General Partner of Global Ventures, said:
“We are incredibly pleased to be working with ADIO on investing in the region’s technology companies and enabling them to scale and grow into success stories. The ability for entrepreneurs to work alongside the leadership and visionaries is truly unique and provides an advantage as these founders fulfil their ambitions.”
The Venture Fund’s Startup Matching Programme, which matches dirham for dirham a lead investor’s commitment to an innovative startup, based in or relocating to Abu Dhabi, has invested in Securrency, TruKKer, Sarwa, YACOB and Okadoc. ADIO’s investments will work to spur further innovation in the capital.
Securrency, part of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) RegLab and a winner of Hub71’s Incentive Program, is a pioneer of blockchain technology to support global digital securities transactions.
“As early as 2017, Securrency recognised the leading role Abu Dhabi and the ADGM would play in the responsible, regulated global adoption of digital assets and we have maintained a strong presence in the emirate since,”
said John Hensel, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Securrency.
“We applaud the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government to establish ADGM as an innovation hub and global leader in end-to-end financial technology services, and we are pleased to have ADIO as a strategic investor in Securrency. We are committed to Abu Dhabi and plan to house the bulk of our world-class software engineering talent at Hub71. Leveraging the dynamism of this technology-forward environment and the support of the visionary government of Abu Dhabi, we will develop and deliver our core digital securities technology in Abu Dhabi and contribute to further enhancing ADGM’s global reputation as one of the world’s most innovative financial centres,”
Sarwa is a tech-enabled financial platform that works on implementing time-tested investment strategies and developing a personalised investment experience.
Mark Chahwan, CEO of Sarwa commented:
“We are thrilled to have ADIO as an investor and strategic partner of Sarwa. This is a major endorsement of our company, and a testament to the success story we have created over the past two years. We believe that with ADIO’s support, we have a winning combination to continue our progress towards helping everyone in the region optimise their personal finance and make investing accessible, affordable and most importantly, transparent.”
In addition to the Ventures Fund, ADIO is working alongside partners like Hub71, twofour54 and the other free zones to continue to grow the emirate’s innovation ecosystem. ADIO’s role includes connecting with innovation-led investors and companies to help them maximise the use of Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure, from its research-led universities to its specialised free zones. 2020 will see Abu Dhabi open the world’s first AI university, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), while free zones like ADGM, Masdar and twofour54 have dedicated programmes to support early stage businesses to thrive.
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