Abu Dhabi's Hub71 establishes platform to help family offices invest in tech start-ups

Tech Barza aims to enhance partnerships with the private sector, as well as streamline investment channels

The inaugural gathering of Tech Barza at the Abu Dhabi Global Market included notable family offices. Photo: Hub71
Powered by automated translation

Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global technology ecosystem, has set up a platform that aims to help increase capital investment in technology companies, including start-ups from the region’s family offices.

The Tech Barza programme acts as a “capital club” that aims to arrange funding for technology companies and connect them with strategic investors that have “sizeable portfolios with companies that could accelerate product-market fit and the ability to go to market”, Hub71 said on Friday.

Start-up funding in 2021 increased threefold from a year earlier to $2.6 billion across the Mena region, according to data platform Magnitt.

Venture capital funding for Mena start-ups rose 20 per cent annually to more than $2.3bn in the first three quarters of 2022, putting it on track to potentially surpass the total investment attracted in 2021, according to Magnitt.

Major organisations at the inaugural gathering of Tech Barza at the Abu Dhabi Global Market, where Hub71 is based, included Ali & Sons, Al Nowais Investments, Yas Investments, Al Tayer Group, the Crescent Group, Faith Capital, the Kanoo Group, Al Fahim Group and Saif bin Darwish.

“The private sector has a key role in shaping the next 50 years of our nation and family offices are, without a doubt, the heartbeat of the economy,” said Badr Al Olama, acting chief executive of Hub71.

The programme aims to “bring diversity and inclusivity to family offices, removing the misconception of crowding out and reinforcing the mission of knowledge sharing”.

Family offices are private wealth management advisory firms that cater to ultra-high net worth people, distinct from traditional counterparts as they offer more holistic solutions.

More than 200 of the world's single largest family offices cover a total net worth of about $493 billion, according to Swiss bank UBS.

Tech Barza aims to hasten the development of Hub71's start-ups, which number about 200 and have raised more than $871 million in funding through the third quarter of 2022.

Updated: May 12, 2023, 2:46 PM