US-Based Celesta Capital Partners With Top Government Entities In Oman In A Bid To Grow The Nation's Technology Ecosystem
As a global venture capital firm moving into Oman, Viswanathan believes Celesta Capital will be able to widen the reach of existing business opportunities within the Sultanate while also introducing new ones.
Celesta Capital, a US-based venture capital (VC) firm that invests in deep technology startups, has announced a partnership with the Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Transport, Communications and IT (MTCIT) and the Public Authority for Special Economic and Free Zones (OPAZ).
The partnership has come about as a result of Celesta Capital's longstanding interest in Oman- in particular, in the country's ability to become a hub for next-generation technologies. Having already made a number of investments in the US as well as India -in industries such as deep tech, bioconvergence, and artificial intelligence- Celesta Capital's move into Oman marks its entry into the GCC.
"Oman is a great destination for companies that are looking to expand operations and manufacturing capabilities into the Middle East," said Sriram Viswanathan, Founding Managing Partner at Celesta Capital, in an interview with Entrepreneur Middle East. "Oman's government policies toward innovation and entrepreneurship make it an attractive target for the domestic Oman market and the Middle East region at large. At Celesta, we are committed to finding new market expansion opportunities for our portfolio companies. This aligns well with the Omani government's intentions of creating an environment that will attract the next generation of technology companies and capital."
Celesta Capital signs a partnership with Oman's MTCIT and OPAZ. Source: Celesta Capital
As a global VC firm moving into Oman, Viswanathan believes Celesta Capital will be able to widen the reach of existing business opportunities within the Sultanate while also introducing new ones. "There are numerous opportunities for companies wishing to leverage the Omani ecosystem across the manufacturing, retail, and next generation data center sectors," he said. "Companies that are looking for testing and have expressed interest in creating proof of concepts may find the infrastructure offered by OPAZ attractive to set up operations in Oman. Omani companies may also be able to partner with leading edge companies in both Silicon Valley and India. In addition, the ecosystem may be able to attract fresh capital for Omani companies looking to become global companies."
Through this collaboration with MTCIT and OPAZ, Celesta Capital will thus be focusing on three areas of business. The first includes scanning for portfolio companies that can set up, pilot, and test activities for their technological solutions within Oman. The second area of focus will be in aiding the setting up of manufacturing operations for companies wishing to set up base in the Sultanate. Finally, the third will be to help companies in acquiring relevant licenses, regulatory approvals, and registrations to enter, expand into and innovate within the markets of Oman as well as other GCC nations.
However, when asked if Celesta Capital itself had any plans to move into the wider GCC region, Viswanathan's reply made it clear that the VC firm's priority lay in leveraging and growing Oman's technology ecosystem. "We expect Oman to be the hub for the greater Middle East region," he added. And Viswanathan's vision is one that Fahd Al Abri, Director General of Sector Stimulation at MTCIT, agrees with fully. "There is no doubt that the entry of venture capital firm Celesta Capital, which specializes in deep tech investing, into the Omani market opens new horizons in the field of supporting and financing emerging Omani companies and linking them to investment opportunities outside the Sultanate, which opens the way for them to expand in global markets," Al Abri said.Related: Al Jabr MENA And SD Center For Entrepreneurship Excellence Partner To Nurture Startups In Oman And The UAE