Abu Dhabi launches USD142 million 'Hub71' to support tech startups

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ABU DHABI: The capital of the United Arab Emirates launched in March a AED520 million (USD$142 million) new platform known as “Hub 71” to support high tech startup companies in the region.

H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Chairman of the Executive Committee, said an additional AED535 million fund has been set aside to invest in technology businesses established in Hub71, raising the total government investment in the Abu Dhabi tech sector to more than AED1 billion (about USD$272 million), reported the Emirates state news agency WAM.

Starting April 28, 2019, the fund will co-invest with VCs in Hub71 based tech start-ups through a government matching scheme, as well as invest in first-time fund managers to support their establishment and growth in the Emirate. Hub71 is also offering fully subsidised housing, office space and health insurance for seed- stage tech companies. For more established tech ventures, 50 percent subsidy packages will be available.
Hub71 was established by the government to further underpin the Emirate’s status as a vibrant destination of digital transformation, innovative initiatives and high-tech entrepreneurs in collaboration with key global technology companies.

The new platform is a key initiative of Ghadan 21, the Government’s economic accelerator program announced last September by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“Abu Dhabi has proven itself as a place where innovation can succeed and inspire. Through the Abu Dhabi Government’s economic programs and plans, we’re doubling down on our efforts to make Abu Dhabi a global beacon for technology and innovation,” Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, said during the project’s launch.

As part of the initiative, the AED535 million fund will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, to invest in startups and venture capitalists, VCs, at Hub71.

Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund are founding partners of this new initiative, working in close collaboration with Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, to create a dynamic business environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.