Hub71 recruits 11 new start-ups as part of latest cohort

The tech accelerator appointed Hanan Harhara Al Yafei as its chief executive last week

Set up in March 2019, Hub71 is a start-up incubator based within Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's financial free zone. Courtesy Hub71
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Abu Dhabi-based tech accelerator Hub71 selected 11 global start-ups for its incentive programme as part of a cohort recruited during the second quarter of 2020.

The companies include Bahrain-based open banking platform Tarabut Gateway, UAE-based educational language app Arabee, Lebanese health and wellness platform Mint Basil Market and US-based Scanalytics, which uses Internet of Things and sensor technologies to augment physical spaces.

“Though the last few months have been tough for all businesses and SMEs particularly, Hub71 has been a safe space that has proactively helped its start-ups navigate the difficult market conditions,” Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, newly-appointed chief executive of Hub71, said.

“To the 11 start-ups … congratulations and kudos … as members of the Abu Dhabi tech community, your success is our success and we endeavour to support you in your global ventures from this point onwards,” she added.

Ms Al Yafei was appointed as chief executive of Hub71 last week, replacing Ibrahim Ajami, the head of ventures at Mubadala Investment Company, who had served as interim chief executive of Hub71 following its launch last year.

Ms Al Yafei was previously Mubadala's executive director of human capital for the company's alternative investments and infrastructure platform.

Hub71’s incentive programme offers 100 per cent free housing, office space and health insurance for two years for seed companies and 50 per cent subsidies for three years for emerging companies, equating to up to Dh3 million per start-up.

“We have been most impressed with the real estate and digital infrastructure in the UAE – from the 5G networks to the UAE’s appetite for new technology and innovative ideas,” said Joe Scanlin, Scanalytics’ founder and chief executive.

Scanalytics is aiming to use Abu Dhabi as a base to explore European markets and to hire tech talent from UAE universities.

Mint Basil Market, an artificial intelligence-enabled health and wellness online platform, will use its Abu Dhabi presence to expand across the Gulf.

“Abu Dhabi is a perfect launch pad for our business, as there’s much better market access to the entire GCC ... not only is it easier to import a wider range of products, there are more discerning consumers,” said the company's chief executive and co-founder Vanessa Zuabi.

Hub71, whose start-ups have collectively raised more than Dh510.1m to date, was set up in March 2019 by the Abu Dhabi government, Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Microsoft and SoftBank.

Thus far, it has worked with more than 60 global start-ups through its incentive programme, 21 per cent of which are led by female entrepreneurs.

The accelerator is a flagship initiative of the Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 economic stimulus programme. In May, the Abu Dhabi government also rolled out a Dh535 million Ghadan Ventures Fund, which specifically targets start-ups and is being managed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.