Abu Dhabi Investment Office Launches AED535 Million Fund To Support VCs And Startup Ecosystem
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Abu Dhabi has debuted the AED535 million Ghadan Ventures Fund to boost the economy and attract investors and entrepreneurs to the Emirate.
Announced at the launch of Abu Dhabi's Hub71, the fund is part of the government's Ghadan 21 program and is managed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). It has two key programs -called the Startup Matching Fund and New Managers Fund- to grow available capital for Abu Dhabi-based startups and attract new fund managers seeking to operate in the Emirate.
The Startup Matching Fund will support Abu Dhabi's entrepreneurs by boosting the available capital for seed and early-stage companies. According to its release, the ADIO will match a startup's lead VC investment dirham for dirham, up to AED10 million for seed rounds, and AED50 million for Series A.
Whereas, with the New Managers Fund, new Abu Dhabi-based VCs can apply for fund matching based on the amount they raise in the private market.
Commenting on the Ghadan Ventures Fund's dual core goals, Elham Abdulghafoor Mohamed AlQasim, CEO of ADIO and Executive Director of the Ghadan 21 program said, "We are helping new VCs establish in Abu Dhabi to ensure local startups have access to more investors, whilst also driving the establishment and growth of startups in Abu Dhabi by increasing the amount of investment capital available in the market."
While Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71 noted the opportunities that's available for budding entrepreneurs, "There’s never been a better time in this region for both startup and investor, made evident with the 31% increase in total funding and a 13% increase in the number of deals made in 2018, compared with the year before."