twofour54 exits four years investment in SAE Institute to CedarBridge

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Snapshot duing one of the 3D animation courses offered by SAE (image is from the SAE platform)

twofour54 announced today its exit from the UAE arm of the SAE Institute (School of Audio Engineering), with an acquisition by the education investor CedarBridge for an undisclosed amount.

The commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi, twofour54 first invested in SAE 4 years ago with the aim of supporting the region’s media. During that period both parties worked to increase professional development opportunities for media professionals in order to improve the industry and attract business investment.

“twofour54 will use the proceeds of the sale to invest more aggressively in media, entertainment and digital startup companies, which we see as key to Abu Dhabi’s future,” said twofour54’s CEO Noura Al Kaabi, in a statement.

A global network of media training academies, SAE Institute has over 30 years experience in the industry. It offers diploma and bachelor degree programs in audio production, film production, interactive 3D animation, web development, and games programming.

“Our investment in SAE Institute was critical to underpinning Abu Dhabi’s media industry during its early stages and cemented our commitment to fuelling the local and regional industry with a strong pool of Arab media talent,” Al Kaabi said.

CedarBridge will continue with the strategy implemented by twofour54, and plans to expand into other campuses around the UAE and encourage more UAE nationals to enter the programs.

“Our decision to proceed with this investment reflects a desire to invest more heavily in applied education in the media and digital space, which we see as a key driver of future growth for the UAE,” said CedarBridge’s managing director and cofounder, Magellan Makhlouf.

twofour54 has long dedicated corporate venture funds to support the development of the media sector in Abu Dhabi. In addition to providing equity funding, twofour54 works with entrepreneurs and early stage businesses to develop their business plans and provides ongoing expertise, support and mentoring to these startups.

“Small and medium businesses contribute a huge component of the UAE’s non-oil GDP and account for a high percentage of private sector employment,” said Al Kaabi. “We want to strengthen our support for entrepreneurs who have creative ideas to build businesses that will not only serve audiences but create job opportunities for young people.”

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