Abu Dhabi city skyline
Abu Dhabi city skyline Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) on Tuesday announced it has launched the Dh535 million Ghadan Ventures Fund to support Abu Dhabi’s growing Venture Capital (VC) and start-up ecosystem.

The newly-established fund is part of the government’s Ghadan 21 programme, which is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy and build a dynamic and thriving entrepreneurial culture.

The fund was recently announced in conjunction with the launch of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 to help the development of the start-up ecosystem.

“The objective of the Ghadan Ventures Fund is two-fold, we are helping new VCs establish in Abu Dhabi to ensure local start-ups have access to more investors. Whilst also driving the establishment and growth of start-ups in Abu Dhabi by increasing the amount of investment capital available in the market,” said Elham Abdul Gafoor Mohammad Al Qasim, CEO of ADIO.

The newly named Ghadan Ventures Fund has two key programmes that have been designed to increase the availability of capital for Abu Dhabi based start-ups, as well as serve as a catalyst for new fund managers seeking to establish themselves in the capital. These include the ‘Start-up Matching Fund’ and ‘New Managers Fund’.

The Start-up Matching Fund will work to stimulate Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial landscape by increasing the amount of capital available for seed and early stage companies. As part of the initiative, ADIO will match a start-up’s lead VC investment dirham for dirham, up to Dh10 million for seed rounds, and Dh50 million for Series ‘A’, per round.

“There’s never been a better time in this region for both start-up and investor, made evident with the 31 per cent increase in total funding and a 13 per cent increase in the number of deals made in 2018, compared with the year before,” said Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub 71.

“There is great potential for the fund, and we will be supporting members of Hub 71 to apply and make the most of this unique opportunity.”