G42 has interests spanning pharmaceuticals to AI. The move to scale into technology represents quite a widening of interests. Especially when backed by a $10 billion investment plan. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42, which counts Mubadala Investment Co. and Silver Lake as its backers, is setting up a $10 billion fund with a focus on tech investments in emerging markets. The entity will be formed in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, set up by state-controlled ADQ last year. 

The new fund - G42 Expansion Fund - will be managed by a unit of G42 and target late-stage growth companies with disruptive technologies. It will operate as a private equity investor, with a significant share of funds earmarked for high-growth regions, in sectors ranging from communications, intelligent mobility and renewables to healthcare.

The move comes as Abu Dhabi - a city that's among the few globally to manage over $1 trillion in sovereign wealth capital - ratchets up efforts to plow oil revenue into the technology sector and diversify its economy.

AI to healthcare

G42, an AI and cloud computing company, has operations spanning from energy to healthcare and autonomous vehicles. Last year, the firm formed a joint venture with Beijing-based Sinopharm, marking the first overseas manufacturing of the Chinese vaccine.

It also became the first Emirati firm to open an Israel office after the nations normalized ties in the so-called Abraham Accords and rolled out the Middle East's earliest driverless car trials. Over the past year, G42 has been building out its investment team with key hires from Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds.

"With the G42 Expansion Fund, we aim to accelerate our global impact not only through the deployment of capital, but also by providing unique access to our networks, management, and operational assets to our portfolio companies," G42 CEO Peng Xiao said in a statement. He will be chairman of the new fund's investment committee.

Mubadala owns a minority stake in G42. The $280 billion fund has itself stepped in to invest in technology-focused businesses just as other investors turned away from what they see as risky and potentially overpriced assets. US private equity firm Silver Lake also invested in G42 last year and its co-CEO Egon Durban sits on the Abu Dhabi firm's board.

  1. The G42 Expansion Fund will operate as a private equity investor, with a significant share of investment for high growth regions.
  2. G42 will also leverage its operational assets and operating companies to 'accelerate value creation across the G42 Expansion Fund’s portfolio'.
  3. Investment priorities will span technologies that 'promise to shape the global economic landscape in the next decades, such as intelligent mobility, clean tech and renewables, digital infrastructures, new materials, multiverses, fintech, healthcare, and life sciences.