ADQ unveils $299 million investment fund for Asian start-ups

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE Landscape
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One of MENA’s largest holding companies, ADQ unveiled a $299 million investment fund to spend in early-stage Indian and Southeast Asian start-ups and help them set up a foundation in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.

The Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI) Fund will be based at the emirate’s financial hub, Abu Dhabi Global Market and will be managed by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital.

AWI will assist the developing Asian businesses to obtain market access to the UAE and the more widespread Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. These firms will profit from the “exceptional digital infrastructure” already in place as well as extremely advanced regulatory frameworks and other R&D initiatives.

“As a national champion for the Abu Dhabi government, we are working to embed a performance culture across our broad portfolio that includes many of our emirate’s most important strategic commercial entities.”
– Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi

ADQ is trying to maximize the long-term impact of its financing on society, and will spend in companies that are “pioneering cutting-edge technologies and producing new and innovative business models”, Mr. Al Suwaidi said.

“Nurturing Abu Dhabi’s start-up ecosystem will attract entrepreneurial talent, create jobs and other opportunities, particularly for those working in data science, artificial intelligence and other knowledge-based industries,” Mr Al Suwaidi stated.

Mayank Singhal, head of venture capital and technology at ADQ, said AWI will support the company to fund in start-ups that will create sustainable, long-term financial results and bring young entrepreneurs to Abu Dhabi.

“We will aim to support them in ways that accelerate their development to create a new wave of winners in the tech landscape,” he said. “These start-ups will also benefit from access to ADQ’s leading companies in sectors such as healthcare, food and agri-business, utilities and FinTech.”

ADQ, formally known as Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company, has a collection of conglomerates, traversing key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy, including utilities, tourism and hospitality, aviation, transportation, logistics, industrial, real estate, media, healthcare, agri-foods and financial services.