Hub71, Russia’s Sberbank unite to access mutual startup ecosystems

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global IT ecosystem, signed a new partnership with Sber, Russia’s largest commercial bank with over 100 million customers and 1 million companies, as well as one of the largest digital ecosystems with over 60 companies from various industries.

The new partnership, which aims to build a tech bridge between the UAE and Russia, will benefit technology companies, startups, venture capital firms, and investors in both countries. The alliance aims to improve market access and long-term commercial potential for innovation-driven businesses.

Investments in Russian startups tripled in the first half of 2021, reaching a new record of $1 billion. Sber, based in Moscow, is expanding its global technology and innovation footprint and is undertaking a number of initiatives in the field of educating aspiring entrepreneurs and supporting operating technology businesses.

One of the flagship initiative is the “Sber500” project, launched in 2018 as an international accelerator program in a collaboration between Sber and Venture Capital firm, 500 Global. The program enables startups to work with Silicon Valley mentors for eight weeks. 

Badr Al Olama
Badr Al Olama
Acting CEO – Hub71

“Our partnership with Sber reflects our shared purpose to accelerate technology-driven solutions and bridge the gap between our two high-growth markets. Importantly, we expect Russia’s leading startups from Series A to C+ to connect directly with innovators, corporations and investment funds in Abu Dhabi. These connections will expand the commercial potential of Russian startups, increase their potential to big-ticket land deals and enable founders to produce large-scale innovation in an open and flexible regulatory environment the UAE offers.”

Under the agreement, companies participating in the Sber500 program will gain access to Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem at Hub71, where they will benefit from its corporate and government partners and value-driven programs that facilitate greater opportunities to raise funds and land commercial deals through a more efficient go-to-market outlet.

Hub71 startups will also get access to Sber’s startup network and various programs, providing them a head start in the Russian market. Sber and Hub71 will work together to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for tech entrepreneurs in both nations to collaborate with large corporate partners.

Mr. Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, said that “Backed by the Government of Abu Dhabi and Mubadala Investment Company, Hub71 provides innovative companies in any sector with access to global markets, capital, and a network of partners. With its help we are set to develop our operations in the Middle Eastern market further, primarily with the participation of our subsidiary Sberinvest Middle East Limited in Abu Dhabi, which has a primary mission to become a key partner in investment deals between Russia and the Middle East.”

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