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April 8, 2019updated 16 Apr 2019 2:20pm

Abu Dhabi forms technology hub for startups

By Jennifer Aguinaldo

Abu Dhabi is investing up to 1 billion Emirati Dirham, AED, ($272 million) in Hub71, a programme that offers fully subsidised housing, office space and health insurance for technology startups.

Even more established technology ventures will be able to avail a 50 per cent subsidy package when they set up at the hub, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company said in a statement.

Abu Dhabi startup investment

The Abu Dhabi Government also plans an AED535 million fund to invest in startups and venture capitalists (VCs) that set up at the hub.

The fund, which the Abu Dhabi Investment Office will administer, will co-invest with VCs – starting on 28 April – in tech startups based at the hub through a government matching scheme. Mubadala said it will also invest in first-time fund managers to support their establishment and growth in the emirate.

Hub71’s other key partners include US-based technology giant Microsoft, Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund, and Abu Dhabi Global Market, the UAE capital’s financial centre.

The programme is seen as a key initiative under the Abu Dhabi Development Accelerator Programme (Ghadan 21), which is backed by an AED50 billion stimulus programme.

“Hub71 offers the perfect platform for Abu Dhabi… bringing together our global networks, investment experience and strategic expertise so that early and growing tech companies who are ready to scale up, can do so successfully within this region,” said Waleed al-Mokarrab al-Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO and CEO of Alternative Investments & Infrastructure of Mubadala Investment Company.

“As an active investor, we have a strong track record of deploying capital and building partnerships in the tech sector all over the world,” he added.

Mubadala last year announced a plan to create a $400 million fund to invest in leading European technology companies. The firm’s technology portfolio currently includes a $15 billion commitment to the Softbank $100 billion Vision Fund. In 2007, it acquired a significant stake in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

It also owns semiconductor manufacturer Globalfoundries; Al-Yah Satellite Company (Yahsat); Cognit, a joint venture with IBM; cloud computing provider Injazat Data Systems; and Khazna, a data centre company in the UAE.

This article is sourced from Verdict Technology sister publication www.meed.com, a leading source of high-value business intelligence and economic analysis about the Middle East and North Africa. To access more MEED content register for the 30-day Free Guest User Programme. https://www.meed.com/registration/

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