Emirates News Agency – ADIO’s innovation program builds capacity and diversifies Abu Dhabi’s economy with AED 1 billion now allocated to 37 companies
ABU DHABI, 11th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) kicked off 2022 with three new Innovation Program partnerships, bringing the total incentives awarded to date to AED 1 billion ($272 million). Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital and COFE App join a total of 37 companies benefiting from ADIO’s AED 2 billion (USD 545 million) innovation program since its launch in 2020.
Companies in the innovation program operate in high-growth, technology-driven industries, with 13 in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, nine in agricultural technology (AgTech), eight in services healthcare and biopharmaceuticals and seven in financial services. The program fuels the development and diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy, led by an innovation ecosystem in which companies in the innovation program create technology solutions to benefit the region and beyond.
Mohamed Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director – Commercial Enterprises, ADIO, said: “ADIO’s innovation program attracts approximately two new, fast-growing technology companies to Abu Dhabi every month. Its success is a testament to ADIO’s commitment to emirate to create an environment where businesses can come together to imagine, collaborate and create Our 37 innovation program partners are already making a regional impact and we are committed to helping accelerate their progress by equipping them with the necessary resources and support ready to be awarded under the program, we look forward to welcoming many more innovative companies to our forward-looking community, where they can make a real impact on a global scale.”
As part of the innovation program, ADIO provided Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital and COFE with competitive financial incentives, including payroll and allowance discounts for highly skilled workers and high-tech CAPEX, as well as non-financial incentives, such as support for settlement processes. and ecosystem engagement.
Fairwater Capital and Frontera Capital are financial services companies that will advance financial innovation in and from Abu Dhabi. The emirate provides an ideal base and gateway for the expansion of financial services companies, serving as a bridge between time zones, while providing a favorable regulatory environment through the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
Fairwater Capital was founded in London as a multi-strategy investment manager. ADIO’s partnerships will enable Fairwater Capital to set up its global quantitative research center, global data center and operations center in ADGM to support and expand the range of its investment strategies, including credit and renewable energies.
Paul Lavelle, CEO and Partner of Fairwater Capital, said, “We are grateful for ADIO’s support and look forward to working collaboratively with them as we take our business to the next level. Fairwater Capital is focused on constantly evolving our team, investment process and developing strategies to consistently deliver consistent alpha to investors. At the heart of this evolution are research and data. Abu Dhabi is the perfect hub to harness the strengths of the local economy and community and complement them with outstanding international talent to create an international center for research and quantitative data.
Frontera Capital is a boutique investment firm focused exclusively on matching the risk appetite of international investors with domestic funding needs in frontier markets. With support from ADIO, Frontera Capital will expand ADGM’s capabilities in originating, structuring and distributing frontier market risk through enhanced ADGM-based infrastructure and support.
Vicente Pons, CEO and Founder of Frontera Capital, said, “At Frontera Capital, we deploy cutting-edge research into frontier debt and foreign exchange markets to identify and structure investment opportunities for institutional investors worldwide. With an extensive global reach, we considered several other financial centers before moving to Abu Dhabi due to the emirate’s business-friendly environment as well as its convenient time zone, central location to a greater number of frontier markets and excellent global and regional logistics networks. support the continued expansion of our local business, which will have specific tangible benefits for the ADGM ecosystem in terms of financial services capabilities and infrastructure, as well as facilitating the financial development of frontier markets in general. »
COFE App is a cutting-edge coffee-centric app for the beverage market, which provides quick access to a wide range of international coffee franchises and artisan coffee brands through multiple premium services and features on a single platform. COFE App provides 360 degree solutions for coffee lovers looking for a smart way to have their daily coffee. The partnership with ADIO will see COFE App move its global headquarters to Abu Dhabi, where the startup will continue to grow the coffee market and further establish itself in the beverage and technology ecosystem.
Founder and CEO of COFE App, Ali Al Ebrahim said, “ADIO’s confidence in COFE App will further pave the way for growth in the emirate. created at COFE and a diverse and talented global team, I truly believe that we are creating an ecosystem that will lead the coffee market into a new era. »
Since 2020, ADIO has established 37 business partnerships and built an ecosystem where partner companies can collaborate with each other and with Abu Dhabi entities to develop locally relevant and globally exportable solutions. The technologies created by the companies in the emirate’s innovation program contribute to the economic diversification of the emirate.
With an increasing number of companies establishing a significant presence as part of the innovation agenda, Abu Dhabi has become home to the region’s corporate headquarters. ADIO’s support has brought Anghami Emirate, STARZPLAY, Lyve and Pure Salmon, which have established their global headquarters here, and Bespin Global, which has set up its MENA headquarters in the Abu Dhabi Hub71. These companies have chosen the emirate for its ease of doing business, enabling regulations, well-established infrastructure and vast talent pool, making it an ideal place to launch innovation.
With 80% of the world’s population within an eight-hour flying time of Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s connectivity positions it as a launching pad for companies with global ambitions. In February 2022, Abu Dhabi-headquartered Anghami became the first Arab tech company to list on Nasdaq in New York. It went public at $220 million via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, allowing the music streaming platform to expand its user base and invest in technology.
In the AgTech sector, Abu Dhabi has made significant progress in “greening the desert” through ADIO’s support to innovators who are pioneering desert farming solutions. Many of ADIO’s AgTech partners have made significant progress in building R&D and production facilities to advance agricultural innovation.
The American drip irrigation company Responsive Drip Irrigation (RDI) has built its production warehouse in the KIZAD trade and logistics free zone in Abu Dhabi and its R&D center in the desert region of Al Khatem. RDI has over 20 hectares of open-field, greenhouse and indoor-farm trial projects that produce high-quality crops using less than half the amount of water normally used for irrigation. Down the supply chain, local agriculture and tech company Pure Harvest Smart Farms is seeing encouraging tomato production at its new 3-hectare tomato farm in Al Ain and is stepping up commercial production efforts for leafy greens and strawberries in the business. 1.1 hectare fully automated hybrid greenhouse and 0.7 hectare R&D facility, respectively. It has gained significant shelf space in the tomato category and has seen high consumer adoption. Meanwhile, online grocery platform FreshToHome has established an industrial, agricultural and commercial entity in Abu Dhabi and signed a lease for a state-of-the-art industrial complex of more than 30,000 square feet in KIZAD for online grocery and R&D.
In the area of ICT, ADIO’s support for cutting-edge companies strengthens the emirate’s human capital. These companies deepen the pool of local and international talent by bringing in specialized skills and through education and workforce-building initiatives, creating a multiplier effect in which these companies attract others. . The technologies and solutions developed by these companies should enable other innovation-driven sectors.
Digital identity pioneer Callsign has gained strong commercial traction in the MENA region by securing contracts with UAE banks and a regional pipeline, invested in an internship program to attract local talent and is developing R&D partnerships with local universities. Logistics and technology solutions company Lyve was one of the first companies to establish a 100% foreign-owned entity on the mainland of Abu Dhabi and entered into an office space lease for its headquarters social of more than 500 square meters in Abu Dhabi. Since the emirate, Lyve has reached 100 million deliveries and entered new markets around the world, emerging as a “super platform” with a digital presence at every touchpoint of the customer journey.
Meanwhile, Bespin Global, the cloud company setting up its MENA headquarters at Hub71, is also establishing a new office on Reem Island comprising its cloud operations center and Bespin Academy which will hire over 500 staff, with Emirati internships. for students from local universities. Bespin Global MEA Achieved Prestigious Amazon Web Services (AWS) Competency (MSP Partner) to Become Region’s First AWS Partner; won AWS DevOps Partners of the Year for the second time in a row and secured a major deal with a leading energy company in the United Arab Emirates for end-to-end management of its distribution expansion in Saudi Arabia.