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 Abu Dhabi Investment Office Launches AED 535 million Fund To Grow VC and Startup Ecosystem

"There’s never been a better time in this region for both startups and investors," says Hub71's Head Mahmoud Adi.

Announced recently at the launch of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, the AED 535 million ($145.65 million) Ghadan Ventures Fund is part of the government’s Ghadan 21 programme that is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy and build a dynamic and thriving entrepreneurial culture.

"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," says Elham AlQasim, CEO of ADIO and Executive Director of the Ghadan 21 programme, Abu Dhabi Executive Office.

The fund has two key programmes designed to increase the availability of capital for Abu Dhabi based startups, as well as serve as a catalyst for new fund managers seeking to establish themselves in the capital. These include the ‘Startup Matching Fund’ and ‘New Managers Fund’.

The Startup Matching Fund will help Abu Dhabi’s budding entrepreneurs by increasing the amount of capital available for seed and early-stage companies. The ADIO will match a start-up’s lead VC investment dirham for dirham, up to AED 10 million for seed rounds, and AED 50 million for Series ‘A’, per round.

To increase the number of VC funds operating in the Emirate, ADIO will also commit to new Abu Dhabi VCs under the New Managers Fund. Newly formed Abu Dhabi-based VCs can apply for funds matching the amount they raise in the private market.

Commenting on the availability of the fund, the head of Hub71, Mahmoud Adi, said, "There’s never been a better time in this region for both start-up and investor, made evident with the 31 percent increase in total funding and a 13 percent increase in the number of deals made in 2018, compared with the year before."


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