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The Flourishing Tech Ecosystem of Hub71 and the MENA Region's Record Venture Capital Funding

The Flourishing Tech Ecosystem of Hub71 and the MENA Region's Record Venture Capital Funding

In 2021, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region saw a record $2.6 billion in venture capital funds, reflecting the region's growing interest in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. By March 2022, startups in the region had already raised $299 million, pushing the total funding for the first quarter to $934 million.

Among the companies benefiting from this surge in funding is the Dubai-based digital platform, Tabi. This buy-now-pay-later portal has expanded from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Turkey, showcasing the potential for growth and innovation in the region.

At the forefront of this innovative drive is Hub71, a tech ecosystem located in the heart of Abu Dhabi's financial district. As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is embracing innovation across various sectors, from fintech and edtech to e-commerce. The driving force behind Hub71 is its mission to create an environment that supports and nurtures the growth of startups and entrepreneurship.

Hub71 was established following the launch of a programme called Ghadan 21 in 2018. This programme was backed by a $13.5 billion investment aimed at future-proofing the economy. Hub71, created a year later, has since become Abu Dhabi's global tech ecosystem.

The tech ecosystem has attracted over 170 startups, with 80% of them joining through Hub71's programmes, while the remaining 20% were drawn in by the allure of the hub itself. The incubation centre has also managed to bring in over 50 blue-chip corporate companies and investors, further bolstering its presence in the region.

A crucial aspect of Hub71's success is its partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), which provides the necessary regulatory support for startups to grow and thrive. Together, they work to streamline processes and give access to decision-makers, fostering a collaborative environment that drives results.

This push towards innovation is part of a larger diversification story, as Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole seek to transition from an oil-based economy to one that is more robust and future-ready. Startups are a core component of this strategy, as they help reinforce the competitive edge across various sectors.

Additionally, the private sector plays an essential role in supporting this new wave of technology. Family offices, with their significant wealth built up over decades, are increasingly keen to invest in startups and be part of the region's technological transformation.

With its thriving tech ecosystem, record venture capital funding, and strong support from both the public and private sectors, the MENA region is well on its way to becoming a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

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