US-based Plug and Play eyes regional expansion with wider investment opportunities

By Anju T K, Intern Reporter
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Abu Dhabi
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Plug and Play, a US-based worldwide innovation platform with its GCC headquarters in Abu Dhabi, is boosting regional growth by cultivating a tight-knit ecosystem laying a strong foundation for an ambitious startup seeking the shortest, most cost-effective, and seamless path to scale.

Abu Dhabi is better connected both within and beyond the Emirate. This is the longer-term crucial element that enables for valuable collisions of brilliant minds, ideas, and access to broader commercial and investment possibilities throughout industries, borders, and stages of a startup’s ongoing development.

Plug and Play’s autonomous venture capital arm has raised over $9 billion in funding since its founding in 2006, with over a dozen unicorn portfolio exits. The Abu Dhabi branch opened in early 2018 to help the capital’s efforts to innovate in the fintech industry, and it is actively extending its healthcare offerings.

Babak Ahmadzadeh
Babak Ahmadzadeh Managing Director
Plug and Play Abu Dhabi

“For example, let’s say you are a fintech startup founder, headquartered in the UK and you are seeking regional growth opportunities. You have incredible local and regional B2B and B2C business channels to explore in Abu Dhabi and far beyond these borders. Things like the ADGM Digital Lab make it much easier to have your solution accessible and supported through potential regulatory barriers. Establishment fees are super competitive with many Freezone, on-shore, and dual-licensing options. Hub71, a beautiful co-working space and tech ecosystem enabler on Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi, offers an incredible incentive package to offset commercial, residential, and health insurance costs. Entities like the ADIO can also help your in-country expenditures and investments go further through their rebates to further catalyze your innovative efforts.”

Mr. Ahmadzadeh further remarked, “Abu Dhabi is doing so many things right to positively support the establishment, growth, and attraction of tech startups to the UAE and region. Above all, especially over the last two years, there is a great deal of more alignment and coordination of different initiatives and policies across the private and public sector here in Abu Dhabi to enable business, investment, and talent development for tech startups and scaleups.”

Plug and Play is one of the world’s most active venture capital investors with over 200 investments every year into innovative early-stage companies. Plug and Play are currently running its second HealthTech project among partner companies including the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Digital Etisalat and Philips, UEMedical, Department of Health.

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