Israel's OurCrowd to set up Abu Dhabi investment centre and AI hub

The new entities will help manage deals and boost the technology capabilities of companies

Adio is partnering with OurCrowd, Israel’s most active venture firm, to significantly expand its Abu Dhabi operations. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, acting director general of Adio, and Jon Medved, chief executive of OurCrowd, signed an agreement during Abu Dhabi Finance Week. Photo: Adio
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OurCrowd, one of Israel's biggest venture capital companies, is expanding its operations in Abu Dhabi with a new investment centre and an artificial intelligence hub, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.

The venture capital centre of OurCrowd Arabia, which was incorporated at Abu Dhabi Global Market in 2021, will manage deals for its existing platform and cater to emerging markets, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday, during Abu Dhabi Finance Week.

OurCrowd and Adio will also launch Integrated Data Intelligence, an AI hub, which will be based at ADGM's Hub71 start-up centre and is aimed at commercialising AI for businesses, the companies said.

OurCrowd will expand its team at ADGM to 60 over the next four years, as part of a $60 million investment by the company in the emirate.

IDI will develop AI solutions that will help businesses adopt and leverage advanced technology. It will use advanced data automation, AI and machine learning models to reduce costs and improve outcomes for data intensive tasks.

The IDI company will be led by Dr Hasanat Dewan, who has led innovation and technology transformation in an executive capacity for global financial institutions including Etrade, BNY Mellon, Russell Investments Group, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.

The company said OurCrowd Arabia, led by Sabah al-Binali, would significantly increase its venture capital operations.

OurCrowd's decision to expand its operations in Abu Dhabi comes after an intensive global search, Jon Medved, founder and chief executive of OurCrowd, said.

“The World Economic Forum ranks the UAE first in the world in best e-infrastructure and macroeconomic stability, and the third most-trusted government,” he said.

“These factors, with numerous other advantages including global talent and market access, underscore why Abu Dhabi is now home to OurCrowd Arabia and OurCrowd’s new AI spin-off, and why we will continue to invest in the innovation infrastructure and talent in the country.”

The launch of IDI reinforces Abu Dhabi’s commitment to support the expansion of innovative businesses that contribute to the emirate’s knowledge economy.

The UAE has long championed the critical role digital transformation plays in its economy and society, as the country positions itself as a global hub for innovation.

The Emirates is ranked first in the Middle East in the 2021 edition of the Global Innovation Index, cementing its status among the world’s leading countries in adopting the latest technology.

A host of global technology companies, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Oracle, have flocked to the Emirates to set up centres to support the country's technological push.

Abu Dhabi leads the Middle East in the global smart city index, ranking 28th, according to a 2021 report from the Institute for Management Development and the Singapore University for Technology and Design.

The partnership between Adio and OurCrowd was made through Adio's innovation programme, which supports local and international companies looking to grow in Abu Dhabi.

Adio has awarded OurCrowd a package of financial and non-financial incentives to accelerate its growth in the UAE capital, it said.

“OurCrowd is a great example of a company that has benefited from Abu Dhabi’s enabling ecosystem to achieve accelerated growth,” said Abdulla Al Shamsi, acting director general of Adio.

“OurCrowd has moved from an initial licence to an established market player, with its new investment centre and tech hub bringing additional VC and tech specialism to Abu Dhabi and expanding the availability of solutions and technology to companies.”

In 2021, Adio established an office in Tel Aviv to support Israeli technology companies that seek to establish and expand their operations in the Abu Dhabi.

Updated: November 16, 2022, 9:09 AM