- Dubai has launched a Dh370 million ($100.7 million) VC debt fund to finance startups and fuel their global expansion.
- The Venture Debt Fund, managed and supervised by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), aims to position Dubai as an innovation hub for fintech and other tech-driven startups.
- The fund, which will be deployed in June, is set to contribute around $816.9 million to the emirate’s GDP over the eight-year implementation period and will create more than 8,000 jobs for emerging talent.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, approved the launch of the ‘Venture Capital Fund for Startups’ to bolster and sustain startup projects in the emirate.
With a capital of approximately DH370 million, the Fund aims to drive Dubai’s economic growth and fortify its position as a global hub for financial technology (FinTech), innovation, and venture capital. The Fund will come into effect starting June 2022.
The Venture Capital Fund was approved during a meeting of The Executive Council held in the Umm Suqeim Council, chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. His Highness said, "We approved the launch of the ‘Venture Capital Fund for Startups’ today under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to spearhead economic diversification and ignite sustainable economic growth. We are committed to creating a vibrant business environment and providing the opportunities to promote excellence."
"With a flexible legislative system, robust financing tools, an effective regulatory environment, and most importantly, dynamic public and private sectors, Dubai has established itself as the city of entrepreneurs and risk-tolerant investors. Dubai has been able to attract the best talent and investors from around the world to forge partnerships and mutually benefit from the tremendous opportunities offered. In short, Dubai nurtures bold ambitions," he added.
Governed by the Dubai International Financial Centre, which is also a 15 per cent contributor to the Fund, the ‘Venture Capital Fund for Startups' will create an integrated funding system with a number of suitable options that can cater to the needs of enterprises. The Fund will provide AED370 million in capital to finance small to medium startup projects, supporting their development in Dubai and gradual expansion to global markets. This will in turn help develop and foster a stimulating environment for the establishment of funds or similar financing instruments.
The Fund is set to contribute around DH3 billion to the emirate’s GDP during the implementation period, which will run for eight years, extendable for two additional years. It will also provide more than 8,000 jobs for emerging talents, thus strengthening Dubai’s position as a regional centre for entrepreneurship and financial technology (FinTech), innovation and venture capital, and ensuring that it attracts investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.
During The Executive Council’s meeting, the Council also approved the establishment of a centre dedicated to providing institutional care for vulnerable groups. The centre will offer shelter services and permanent or temporary institutional care to improve the quality of life of dependent individuals who need care through the provision of quality programmes and services.
The centre will be devoted to vulnerable groups including people of determination, senior citizens, the elderly and those deprived of adequate family care, in addition to children subjected to abuse, neglect or exploitation, who will be prioritised and primarily provided with adequate care within 24 hours including rehabilitation, personal care, and orthopaedic checks.