Adio adds three technology companies to $545m Innovation Programme

Under the initiative the government body has so far extended $272m in incentives to 37 companies

Cofe is moving its global headquarters to the Abu Dhabi Global Market as part of an Adio Innovation Programme partnership agreement. Victor Besa / The National
Powered by automated translation

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office added three new technology-focused companies to its Innovation Programme, pushing the total incentives awarded so far to high-growth firms to Dh1 billion ($272 million).

Adio, the government body responsible for attracting and promoting investment in Abu Dhabi, has added Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital and Cofe App to the list of 37 companies that are benefiting from Adio’s Dh2bn programme launched in 2020, Adio said on Thursday.

Companies in the Innovation Programme, a part of Abu Dhabi’s Dh50bn Ghadan 21 initiative, operate in high-growth, tech-focused industries. Thirteen information and communications technology sector companies, nine agriculture technology, eight health services and biopharma firms and seven financial services companies are part of the programme.

The Adio initiative is fuelling the development and diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy, led by an ecosystem in which partner companies create technological solutions.

“Adio’s Innovation Programme is attracting approximately two new fast-growth technology companies to Abu Dhabi every month,” said Mohamed Al Dhaheri, acting executive director business enterprise at Adio.

“Its success speaks to the emirate’s commitment of building an environment where businesses can come together to ideate, collaborate and create.”

As part of the partnership, Adio has awarded Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital and Cofe competitive financial incentives, including rebates on high-skilled payroll and allowances and high-tech capital expenditure. They are also receiving non-financial incentives, such as support with establishment 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 is a “great base and a gateway” for financial services companies to expand and provides a favourable regulatory environment through the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Adio said.

The multi-strategy investment manager Fairwater Capital, which was founded in London, will set up its global quantitative research hub, global data centre and operations hub in the ADGM. It will enable the company to expand the range of its investment strategies.

“Abu Dhabi is the ideal hub for harnessing the strengths of the local economy and community and complementing them with outstanding international talent to create an international centre of quantitative research and data,” said Paul Lavelle, chief executive at Fairwater Capital.

Boutique investment company Frontera Capital, which focuses exclusively on matching international investor risk appetite with domestic funding needs in frontier markets, will expand its originating, structuring and distributing capabilities from ADGM.

Cofe, which provides access to a wide range of international coffee franchises and artisanal coffee brands through its platform, will relocate its global headquarter to Abu Dhabi, Adio said.

The Adio initiative has built an ecosystem of companies where participants can collaborate with one another and with Abu Dhabi entities to develop locally relevant and globally exportable solutions.

Adio’s Innovation Programme is attracting approximately two new fast-growth technology companies to Abu Dhabi every month
Mohamed Al Dhaheri, acting executive director business enterprise, Adio

In July, Adio extended Dh90m in funding and non-financial incentives to three technology companies – UAE-based companies Lyve and Rizek, and UK-based Callsign – to build a regional presence through its Innovation Programme.

Last year, Adio also provided backing to Amazon Web Services, video-streaming platform Starzplay, music-streaming service Anghami and cloud management company Bespin Global to allow them to start operations in Abu Dhabi.

The programme participants are already making an impact regionally and Adio is committed to help "fast-track their progress”, Mr Al Dhaheri said.

“With a remaining Dh1bn of incentives ready to be allocated through the programme, we look forward to welcoming many more innovative companies,” he said.

Updated: February 11, 2022, 10:07 AM