The dh500 million fund comes into play as Dubai and the UAE consolidate their credentials as a startup hub, and one specially attuned to the needs of fintechs. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dh500 million venture capital fund had been set up by the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), with the primary aim of helping out fintech ventures through their initial years.

This is the first investment programme launched under ‘Oraseya Capital’, the VC arm of DIEZ. The startup investment focus extends from pre-seed stage, and all the way to the Series B investment stage.

“The establishment of this VC fund serves as a major boost for accomplished companies looking to build a global presence,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority.

“It will play a pivotal role in strengthening Dubai's status as a nurturing ground for the most innovative, advanced and creative enterprises worldwide.

"Our aim is to see these startups join the esteemed ranks of 'unicorn' companies, beginning their journey right here in emirate, a key player in shaping the global economy.”

What interested startup owners should do
Oraseya Capital has launched its website, which will be the platform for business owners to submit financing applications to be considered by the VC fund.

The initiative targets companies within Dubai, as well as 'international enterprises seeking to establish their operations in Dubai'.

With the chosen startups, the VC fund will adopt a direct guidance approach and active participation to help companies ensure their growth 'instead of investing in assets only'.

Going for 'unicorns'

The announcements comes at a time when one of the biggest fintechs operating in the UAE and Saudi Arabia - Tabby - said its latest funding pushed its valuation past the coveted $1 billion mark, which is what the unicorn status is all about.

Our aim is to see these startups join the esteemed ranks of 'unicorn' companies

- Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority

What the fund will focus on

A main objective will be to address 'existing gaps in corporate finance' and particularly during the 'crucial developmental stages' for tech startups. The initiative recognises the 'potential these companies hold for contributing to the growth, advancement and reinforcement of the national economy'.

The DIEZ had launched Oraseya Capital to help with the global expansion hopes of startups and investments in new technology.

"Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs from various corners of the world to nurture and establish innovative enterprises," said Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ. "This endeavour is instrumental in strengthening Oraseya Capital's standing as a premier venture investment company for startups, eagerly sought after by both entrepreneurs and investors alike, all of whom aspire to reshape the landscape and future of advanced technology sectors."

More to follow...