Abu Dhabi: Mubadala Capital on Monday announced $250 million in funding for regional start up companies in the technology sector, with around 30 different companies set to benefit from the investments.
The investments will include a direct $100 million fund for technology companies, and another $150 million which will invest in already existing funds in supporting Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 ecosystem.
“After ten years of investing in tech companies around the world, the time has come to leverage the experience and expertise we’ve gained for the benefit of our home market,” said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Ventures at Mubadala Capital, making the announcement of the new funds during the opening of FinTech Abu Dhabi.
“The MENA (Middle East and North Africa region) funds will drive the economic development of Abu Dhabi by stimulating tech investment activity. There’s a huge amount of untapped potential in the UAE and the wider region and we are on the right path to foster more home-grown innovations,” he added, highlighting how the funds aimed to accelerate Abu Dhabi and the region’s tech scene.
The first company to receive part of the $100 million direct funding is the Dubai-based start up company Bayzat. The company assists small- and medium-sized businesses through their free cloud based platform, which helps them automate their HR administration, payroll processing and health insurance.
“The companies we invest in have to be founder led, these are companies that have been started and are being run from their founders,” said Ajami, explaining what Mubadala was looking for when deciding to invest its money.
“We [also] look at how the founding team and the managing team has built their organisation. What kind of talent they’ve attracted, are they able to continue to attract talent as they grow, are they telling an inspiring story, [and] are they addressing a significant market potential,” he added.
“We are not looking for a company that is just going to build a product that serves Abu Dhabi or that serves a certain region [only], we are looking for the potential for companies to grow globally,” he said.
Mubadala Capital’s ventures builds on Mubadala Investment Company’s decade-long track record of being an active investor in advanced technology. With offices in Abu Dhabi, London and San Francisco, the ventures business has made investments across the value chain of the technology sector, including committing $15 billion to SoftBank Vision Fund.