Hub71 recruits 16 new start-ups as part of latest cohort

The selected companies specialise in seven sectors including CleanTech, AI, SpaceTech, FinTech and e-commerce

Set up in March 2019, Hub71 is based within Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's financial free zone. Courtesy Hub71
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Abu Dhabi-based global tech ecosystem Hub71 said it selected 16 start-ups from 11 countries, representing seven different sectors, to join its incentive programme during the first quarter of this year.

The companies include UAE-based clean technology start-up Fortyguard, Israeli health technology company Dawsat, Indian AI start-up Gleac, British space technology company SpaceChain and Saudi software developer UnitX.

Selected companies have collectively raised over Dh274 million ($75m) in funding from investors such as Goldman Sachs, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre, Y Combinator, Draper Associates, 500 Startups, Plug and Play and Techstars.

“Our first cohort of 2021 builds on our momentum and is a clear reflection of our emphasis on attracting and admitting the most promising start-ups from around the world to our dynamic community,” Ibrahim Ajami, interim chief executive of Hub71 and head of ventures and growth at Mubadala Investment Company, said.

“As our community evolves, we are preparing to launch our new generation of incentives that give founders more flexibility and choice to ensure we can meet their needs at any stage.”

Every quarter, Hub71 selects a number of  start-ups that meet its criteria to join its incentive programme. The initiative 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 up to Dh3m in benefits per start-up.

In the latest cohort, Hub71 backed start-ups from new markets such as India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mauritius and South Africa. The group includes companies developing disruptive technologies such as the first blockchain satellite constellation and the world’s first artificial intelligence and machine learning-based ideation recommendation and sourcing platform for event management.

Hub71 is also working to improve market access for its start-ups and increase funding opportunities by cementing relations with its corporate partners and funds, Mr Ajami said.

“This cohort will gain considerable opportunities to penetrate a growing market that is committed to embedding technology and innovation as part of its sustainable growth,” he added.

More than 15 local, regional and international venture capital funds are based at Hub71 with assets under management worth more than $1.72 billion.

Founded by the Abu Dhabi government, Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Microsoft and SoftBank, Hub71 is a flagship initiative of the Dh50bn Ghadan 21 economic stimulus programme.

It has positioned the UAE capital as an innovation hub and has attracted start-ups in sectors that are crucial to its growth, such as agricultural technology, health care and renewable energy.