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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Masdar-based incubator Krypto Labs to invest in 100 startups

The incubator will provide $100 million in funds to support early-stage startups

Krypto Labs will provide investments in exchange for a stake in selected companies, also helping the startups to gain access to venture capital funding at later stages. Christopher Pike / The National
Krypto Labs will provide investments in exchange for a stake in selected companies, also helping the startups to gain access to venture capital funding at later stages. Christopher Pike / The National

Krypto Labs, the incubator based in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City with US$100 milion in funding, will support 100 early-stage start-ups over the next three years.

The incubator, associated with Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), will help early-stage start-ups take their idea to the market.

Krypto Labs will provide investments in exchange for a stake in selected companies, also helping the start-ups to gain access to venture capital funding at later stages.

“In three years, we want to create 100 start-ups,” Saleh Al Hashemi, managing director of Krypto Labs said. The funds will be invested depending on the idea, without a set amount targeted annually.

Mr Hashemi said that start-ups typically cost $50,000 to $3m.

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“If the ideas are good, we could invest up to $6m a year or even more,” he said.

To kick off its funding, the Krypto Labs incubator will award $250,000 to one of three finalists from more than 2,000 applicants.

Jassim Al Seddiqi, managing director of ADFG, said that it was important that the innovative ideas funded by Krypto Labs have a global view.

“The applications we received were from everywhere, with the most being from India, followed by the United States, Egypt and then UAE,” he said.

“This tells you that the ideas of the world are everywhere.”

Krypto Labs, launched in September, is spread across 2,600 square metres and offers IT resources such as 3D printing and on-site mentorship.

The incubator is the latest example of the UAE’s ambition to drive innovation in the country and wider region by offering start-up entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop, test and modify their ideas.

Abu Dhabi Global Market last year launched its RegLab programme, which offers a “sandbox” environment for fintech start-ups to nurture business innovations under a light regulatory touch.

The programme selected its first five participants in May and chose 11 participants in its second round yesterday.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), launched its own inaugural accelerator programme, FinTech Hive, in August with 11 fintech start-ups from around the world, including two from the UAE.

The programme, developed in partnership with Accenture, involves a 12-week

curriculum.