TechInAfrica — UAE’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala has announced the launch of its first investment funds to invest $250 million in the Middle East and African startups earlier this week. Over the years, Mubadala has been actively making direct and indirect investments in the American and European startups and it finally embarks on the further region.
The funds include a $150 million fund of funds that will support Hub71, an Abu-Dhabi based tech hub launched earlier this week. According to a statement, Mubadala is initially committing to invest in three funds including Dubai-based Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Global Ventures, and San Fransisco-based Data Collective Venture Capital (DCVC).
Aside from the fund of funds, Mubadala has also announced the launch of its $100 million direct funds that will invest in early-stage technology startups that are “committed to being part of Hub71 ecosystem”.
Mubadala said in a statement, “The fund will invest in founder-led companies, targeting either enterprise or consumer sectors and have established clear product/market fit. It aims to invest in a portfolio of 15 companies.”
The direct fund has already made its first investment in Bayzat, a Dubai-based startup that provides HR and insurance solutions to SMEs and startups in the region.
According to a statement, Mubadala invested in Bayzat’s Series B for $16 million that has raised from regional and global investors. This makes Bayzat’s total investment raised to $31 million so far.
Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at Mubadala Capital, said, “After ten years of investing in tech companies around the world, the time has come to leverage the experience and expertise we’ve gained for the benefit of our home market. The MENA funds will drive the economic development of Abu Dhabi by stimulating tech investment activity.”
“There’s a huge amount of untapped potential in the UAE and the wider region and we are on the right path to foster more home-grown innovations, attract exceptional talent and accelerate the evolution of a flourishing tech industry in the Emirate,” he said.
Having entrusted $15 billion, Mubadala is one of the biggest patrons of SoftBank Vision Fund. It also manages $400 million Mubadala Ventures Fund 1 to make direct invest investments in the US-focused early-stage startups, and a fund of funds program targeting US-based established and emerging fund managers.
Earlier this year, they have also launched a $400 million fund for European startups where they have been actively investing in.