Mubadala announces $250 million fund for Mena startups

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Source: CNBC

Abu Dhabi is doubling down on its push into the technology sector with a $250 million investment to support start-ups from the Middle East and North Africa region.

Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s state investment arm, announced Monday its new MENA tech funds will invest in companies and venture funds that help boost local tech incubator Hub71.

The funds will include a US$150 million "fund of funds" programme, which will invest in funds that are committed to supporting the  Hub71 ecosystem.

Hub71 was launched earlier this year as part of a broader effort by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to diversify its economy. Microsoft and SoftBank are also partners in the Abu Dhabi-based scheme. Hub71 offers incentives like office space and health care coverage to encourage start-ups to set up shop in the region.

States like Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, as well as other countries in the Middle East, are increasingly pumping funds into local tech ecosystems, in part to help reduce their reliance on oil-dependent industries.

“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,” said Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at Mubadala Capital, in a press release Monday.

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