The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, ADIO, has invested in the Bedaya Fund to increase access to capital for promising startups in Abu Dhabi.
The US$40 million (AED147 million) Bedaya Fund, operated by Abu Dhabi-based venture capital firm Shorooq Partners, targets early-stage tech companies in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In a joint statement today, ADIO and Shorooq said, "The Bedaya Fund is a continuation of Shorooq Partners’ strategy of investing in Seed stage companies, and guiding them as they graduate to pre-series A, Series A and beyond. While the Bedaya Fund has a wider regional mandate and focuses on investments across the Middle East, ADIO’s US$5 million (AED18.4 million) investment will accelerate the Bedaya Fund’s support to Abu Dhabi-based companies."
The fund, the statement added, will focus on verticals within the technology space including financial technology, FinTech, tech-enabled business services, platforms and software. Shorooq Partners will work closely with these founders to expand their businesses in the region and beyond, it said.
Mahmoud Adi, Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners, said, "The Bedaya Fund has been established to strengthen the region’s venture capital landscape and take great startups to the next stage. There is no shortage of talent here, and given the right access to capital, networks and mentorship, they can achieve great success on the global stage. We are proud to be the only Emirati-founded venture capital fund in Abu Dhabi, and we will continue to work closely with key stakeholders across the emirate’s innovation ecosystem. Having ADIO on board will further accelerate momentum on our journey towards building a thriving centre of technological innovation."
ADIO, the government hub supporting private sector investment in the emirate, is investing through its AED535 million Ventures Fund. The fund was launched in May 2019 as an initiative of Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s accelerator programme, which is driving the emirate’s development through investing in business, innovation and people. The fund is improving access to capital for startups in Abu Dhabi, ensuring the emirate is a welcoming home for innovation and a place where entrepreneurs can realise their commercial and creative vision.
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director-General of ADIO, said, "Abu Dhabi is an ideal testbed for innovation and a place where entrepreneurs can confidently take commercial and creative risks. We are ensuring that locally based startups have access to capital and support from experts like Shorooq Partners to future-proof their development. Ultimately, their growth is our growth, and their success will continue to expand Abu Dhabi’s fast-growing innovation ecosystem."
Shorooq Partners operates from Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s international technology hub and another major Ghadan 21 initiative, ensuring it stays apprised of developments in the emirate and across the region.