Abu Dhabi’s government today has announced the launch of a technology hub called Hub 71 to support technology startups. The government through the initiative is allocating $141.5 million (AED 520 million) of funds to supply monetary incentives to technology startups and reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position “as a vibrant and integrated destination of choice for tech companies and startups.
Explaining its purpose on its website, Hub71 notes that it aims to develop a global ecosystem in the heart of Abu Dhabi, “offering the most globally interconnected network to enable innovation and growth of transformational tech companies, making a real economic and social impact.”
The hub, according to its website, will give incentives in the form of subsidized housing, office space, health insurance packages, co-investment with VCs in Abu-Dhabi-based startups, and co-investment with Abu-Dhabi-based first-time fund managers with direct matching funds.
The initiative that is being led by Abu-Dhabi based UAE’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, has Softbank, Microsoft, Abu Dhabi Global Markets, and Abu Dhabi Investment Office, among its founding partners.
According to a report by Financial Times, Mubadala, that’s one of the leading investors in Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, is in talks with different Softbank portfolio companies including Improbable, Oyo, Plenty, SenseTime, and WeWork to set up their office in Hub71.
Hub71 is an exciting area that Mubadala’s experience and networks can be brought to bear. We need to ensure that we’re ready for that future as a leader of innovation and as Mubadala we’re committed to playing our part.
Mubadala’s Deputy Group CEO and CEO Alternative Investments and Infrastructure Waleed Al Muhairi, speaking this morning at the launch event, said, “Hub71 is an exciting area that Mubadala’s experience and networks can be brought to bear. We need to ensure that we’re ready for that future as a leader of innovation and as Mubadala we’re committed to playing our part.”
“Hub71 will bring together three key factors essential for the success of Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem – capital providers, business enablers and strategic partners, all under one roof,” he added.
Masayoshi Son, Founder and CEO of SoftBank Group, commenting on the occasion, said, “The SoftBank Vision Fund and our portfolio companies are honoured to participate as a founding partner of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71. This is a ground-breaking project that will see technology companies, start-ups, academics and investors collaborating to create something truly exciting for the tech sector across the region and beyond. We would like to congratulate the people of Abu Dhabi on the launch of this wonderful initiative.
Hub71 has appointed Mahmoud Adi, a VP with Mubadala as Founding CEO to lead the initiative. Mahmoud is also the Founding Partner of Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Investments, a VC firm that counts Sarwa, Pure Harvest, Souqalmal, Trukker, and Joi Gifts among its portfolio companies.
More to follow..