Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Abu Dhabi Investment Office allocates Dh60m to region's tech start-ups

A series of funding deals have been agreed with local firms and a UAE-based venture fund

Abu Dhabi Investment Office is expanding its Venture Fund to support later-stage companies that are in expansion mode and ready to scale. Victor Besa / The National.
Abu Dhabi Investment Office is expanding its Venture Fund to support later-stage companies that are in expansion mode and ready to scale. Victor Besa / The National.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) invested over Dh60 million in several start-ups and a fund manager via its ventures fund.

The government entity invested in technology firms Securrency, Trukker, Sarwa, YACOB and Okadoc — all of which are either based in Abu Dhabi or are expanding into the emirate.

ADIO also signed its first investment deal with a fund manager, agreeing to match funding for investments made by UAE-based Global Ventures.

“The Ventures Fund was created to deepen Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and ensure big thinking is not constrained by limited capital," said ADIO's director general Tariq Bin Hendi. "ADIO is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, we want to give start-ups the opportunity to become the next regional, or perhaps even global, tech success story.”

ADIO's Dh535m Ventures Fund was opened in May 2019 as an initiative under the government's three-year, Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 programme aimed at stimulating the emirate's economy.

The funding in Global Ventures has been made through the Ventures Fund’s New Fund Manager Programme, which matches every dirham raised by the venture capital firm in the private market.

The investment in individual companies is being made through its Start-up Matching Programme, which matches the commitment made by a lead investor in a funding round.

Securrency is a US-based company involved in the issuance and trading of security tokens, which is expanding its operations in Abu Dhabi following a $17.65m funding round announced earlier this month.

Sarwa is a roboadvisory platform which announced an $8.4m Series A funding round on Wednesday, Trukker is an 'Uber for trucks' that recently raised $23m in a Series A funding round in November, Yacob is a seed-stage start-up that has developed a system for youth nutrition to target obesity among younger children and Okadaoc is a an online booking platform for doctors.

Updated: January 23, 2020 08:50 AM

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