Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), one of the leading international financial hubs in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), a Middle East-focused VC firm that invests in the early and growth stages of innovative companies, to encourage the development of the region’s venture capital technology ecosystem and to boost fintech.
The MoU will also enable both entities to work together towards launching initiatives and future regulations that ensure an attractive and competitive investment environment for the region’s tech-focused entrepreneurial base.
The venture capital industry continues to grow in the region, especially with increased investments in small and medium sized businesses. The laws and regulations at DIFC along with the continued emphasis on fintech incubators and acceleration programs at ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ continue to support the industry’s growth.
The DIFC’s $100 million fintech fund was announced during the inaugural Global Financial Forum (GFF), organized by DIFC in Q4 2017. The fund is set to accelerate the development of financial technology by investing in startups from incubation through to growth stage and help fintech firms looking to access the MEASA markets. The fund will leverage the DIFC’s FinTech ecosystem consisting of attractive experimental licenses, market leading pricing and collaborative spaces.
Tthe MoU with DIFC will allow MEVP to explore co-investment and co-management opportunities.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority said: “As one of the first VC asset managers licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), MEVP Capital is an important partner for us at DIFC. Increased cooperation between both parties will be key in stimulating growth and investment activity in Dubai’s Venture Capital sector. We are particularly excited that our MoU will also provide a platform for MEVP to explore co-investment and co-management opportunities in relation to DIFC’s USD 100 million FinTech fund.”
Walid Hanna, founder and CEO of MEVP, said: “DIFC plays a central role in supporting the growth of the financial services industry and in driving inward investments that strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The significant increase in venture capital funding for startups witnessed by the UAE in recent years has further energised young innovators and opened doors for them to convert their ideas to tangible and viable business propositions. With its strong track-record in shaping high-value companies, this MoU with DIFC will further enable it to focus on the fast-growing fintech sector, which hold tremendous potential in the MENA region.”