ADQ-backed Further Ventures launches $200m fund for start-ups

The Abu Dhabi-based company focuses on co-creating and supporting ventures from ideation to exit

The cold storage room of Right Farm. The Dubai-based start-up is among portfolio companies of of Abu Dhabi venture platform Further. Antonie Robertson / The National
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ADQ-backed investment company Further Ventures has launched a $200 million fund that will co-create and support business ventures.

The fund, anchored by Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, will focus on building digital assets, FinTech and supply chain sector start-ups. It is a “unique offering” out of Abu Dhabi for founders looking to build ventures in “frontier or regulated industries”, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Further will team up with entrepreneurs as an institutional co-founder to launch and expand new ventures from ideation to exit.

“Entrepreneurs and experienced executives who choose to launch their next venture with Further will have access to product and engineering resources for concept development; seed capital required to take the business to Series A; and reserved capital for following on through multiple rounds of funding,” Further said.

Beyond capital investment, the new venture capital company has a dedicated team that provides legal and regulatory support, talent sourcing and recruitment, operations, and business development facilities.

It provides start-ups access to some of the largest organisations in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as venture builders globally, as part of Further’s extensive network, the company added.

In addition to launching its own ventures with founders, Further said it will also establish the “Further Network” by actively investing in and co-creating start-ups with leading global venture builders.

Within the digital assets space, Further is targeting digital asset payments products, blockchain asset custody and security solutions, marketplaces, wallets among others.

It is looking at wealth management, small and medium sized enterprises finance, financial inclusion, remittance, and payroll products ventures with in the FinTech space, leveraging on its experience in launching regulated financial institutions in global markets.

Digital freight and warehouse management companies and other supply chain-related ventures will also be able to benefit from Further’s extensive ties to ADQ’s broad portfolio, which includes major international retailers, port operators and airlines, the company said.

Further currently has four start-ups in its portfolio — UAE-based FinTech companies AUrem and Floos, businesses-to-business supply chain venture Right Farm and digital assets company Stealth, according to its website.

Venture capitalists and state-backed investors are boosting investments in start-ups as they become an increasingly important part of the global economic development agenda.

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Entrepreneurs and experienced executives who choose to launch their next venture with Further will have access to product and engineering resources for concept development; seed capital required to take the business to Series A; and reserved capital for following on through multiple rounds of funding
Venture platform Further

Globally, the value created by start-ups is about $3 trillion, which is almost at par with the gross domestic product of a G7 economy, according to advisory company Startup Genome. Funding for these companies broke records in 2021 when it hit $621bn, according to CB Insights.

Companies in the UAE raised $699 million in the first half of 2022, ranking the Emirates as the leading country for venture capital financing in the Middle East and North Africa, according to data platform Magnitt.

The UAE also led the region in terms of deals, which grew 10 per cent in the six-month period from a year ago, Magnitt said in August.

The UAE also hosted the biggest deal — a $181m convertible note mega-round for Abu Dhabi-based Pure Harvest in June. The Arab world’s second-largest economy attracted more than $1.47bn in venture capital in 2021, according to Magnitt data.

Further is the latest venture of ADQ, one of the top regional holding companies whose portfolio spans industries including energy and utilities; healthcare and pharmaceutical; mobility and logistics; food and agriculture, financial services, and industries among others.

In March, ADQ consolidated its venture capital activities under DisruptAD, which invests in start-ups and venture capital funds, as well as create new incubators and accelerators to support Abu Dhabi’s positions as a global start-up hub.

DisruptAD aims to support over 1,000 start-ups over the next five years. Beyond the UAE, the platform is eyeing markets including the broader Middle East and North Africa region, India, China, South East Asia and the US, according to an ADQ statement at the time.

DisruptAD is also responsible for Dh1.1bn ($300m) the Alpha Wave Incubation Fund that focuses on Indian and South East Asian start-ups. It also manages Dh535m Ventures Fund, a flagship initiative of the Ghadan 21 programme.

Updated: September 27, 2022, 8:16 AM
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