Abu Dhabi's Hub71 to have 100 startups by end of 2020

From The National:

Mubadala Capital’s head of ventures, Ibrahim Ajami, says Mena tech fund has now made direct investments in two companies and five venture funds.

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s new tech hub, is expected to have 100 start up firms by the end of 2020, according to its acting chief executive.

There are currently 39 firms operating out of Hub71, which is backed by Mubadala, SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft and Abu Dhabi Global Market. The tech hub was created last year as part of the Ghadan 21 initiative, a Dh50 billion package of reforms to stimulate the local economy.

“Our goal at the end of 2020 is to have a vibrant community of 100 start ups … it is our goal and mission,” said Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures at Mubadala Capital and acting chief executive of Hub71.

Four new start-ups — including Jordanian company Rizek, New York-based blockchain firm Securrency and UAE-based fintech companies Sarwa and denarii cash — have been admitted into the Hub71, according to a statement from Hub71 on Monday.

Mubadala has now invested into five venture funds and two companies via its $250 million (Dh918m) Mena tech fund launched in October last year.

The fund has made direct investments in Midchains, a digital trading asset platform, and insurance and HR tech start-up Bayzat from its $100m direct fund. The five investments in venture funds have been made through a $150m fund of funds.

Mr Ajami was speaking at the opening of co-working firm WeWork’s first location in the UAE. The US-based company opened its first facility at Abu Dhabi Global Market Square on Monday. It is managing three floors of workspace housing 1,200 desks on behalf of Hub71, with a remit to attract more start-ups to the capital.

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