Abu Dhabi to Launch AED 535M Fund for Hub71 Startups

Hub71 Partners with Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar 26, 2019 – Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, a global technology ecosystem located in Abu Dhabi, the Capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has today announced Microsoft as a launch partner. The new interconnected hub is designed to enable start-up success, innovation and growth opportunities in the UAE, the region and around the world.

As part of this initiative, the Abu Dhabi Government has announced it will launch an AED 535 million fund administered by Abu Dhabi Investment Office to invest in startups and VCs at Hub71. Starting April 28, 2019, the fund will co-invest with venture capitalists (VCs) in Hub71 based tech start-ups through a government matching scheme, as well as invest in first-time fund managers to support their establishment and growth in the Emirate. Hub71 is also offering fully subsidized housing, office space and health insurance for seed-stage tech companies. For more established tech ventures, 50 per cent subsidy packages will be available.

From left to right: Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Mubadala Ventures, moderates a founders panel with Magnus Olssen, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Careem, Ambareen Musa, CEO and Founder of Souqalmal.com, and George Huang, President, International Business Group at SenseTime.

With Mubadala Investment Company leading Hub71, Microsoft will play a central role as a global technology partner, while SoftBank Vision Fund will leverage its investment networks to create a focal point for tech innovation in the region. Abu Dhabi Global Market, the business enabler and regulator, completes the ecosystem to create the perfect environment for innovation and entrepreneurial success.

Masayoshi Son, Founder and CEO of SoftBank Group commented: “The SoftBank Vision Fund and our portfolio companies are honoured to participate as a founding partner of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71. This is a ground-breaking project that will see technology companies, start-ups, academics and investors collaborating to create something truly exciting for the tech sector across the region and beyond. We would like to congratulate the people of Abu Dhabi on the launch of this wonderful initiative.”

Hub71 is a key initiative of the Government’s accelerator program – ‘Ghadan 21’, a 50 billion-dirham ($13.6 billion) boost to the Emirate’s economy over the next three years. Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 will drive a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in a country which is already home to many exciting tech ventures such as the number one ride-hailing app, Careem, the region’s first “unicorn” valued at $2 billion; and Souq.com, the Middle East’s online marketplace acquired by Amazon for $580 million in 2017.

Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Mubadala Ventures, Mubadala Investment Company said: “As an active investor around the world, we have a strong track record of deploying capital and building partnerships in the tech sector. Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 provides the perfect platform for us to bring together our global networks, investment experience and strategic expertise so that early and growing tech companies looking to scale up can do so successfully within this region.”

Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Division, said: “As a partner of Hub71 Abu Dhabi, we are firmly committed to the Middle East region as it continues its journey to digitally transform and innovate. It’s important for us to contribute to the UAE’s dynamic, interconnected ecosystem of globally minded start-ups, innovators, investors, industries, academia and government. By converging together at Hub71 Abu Dhabi, we’re helping to create a home for global talent and ambitious innovators looking to this region for opportunity.”

Mahmoud Adi, Head of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, commented: “Global technology companies and start-ups alike can come to Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 as their launchpad for growth. Not only are we adding incentives that make Abu Dhabi an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and start-ups, but we are adding the right ingredients for VCs and investors to prosper. The UAE is embarking on its next phase of growth and Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 is the ideal strategic location to turn ideas into reality.”

About Hub71

Hub71 is a global tech ecosystem strategically located in Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, offering a global network that will come together to enable start-up success, innovation and growth opportunities.

As a flagship Ghadan 21 initiative, Hub71 will be the nucleus of the ecosystem working with its global partners to create the optimal environment helping start-ups and entrepreneurs develop, scale and build transformational businesses. Mubadala leads this initiative in partnership with Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund along with Abu Dhabi Global Market as the business enabler and regulator, creating a unique tech ecosystem.

Hub71 is the destination of choice for tech companies, start-ups and investors looking to capitalize on growth opportunities in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

For more information visit www.Hub71AD.com and follow us on @Hub71AD #Hub71AD.

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