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Jordan, UAE launch $100 million tech-focused venture capital fund

By JT - Jun 09,2022 - Last updated at Jun 09,2022

Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh presides over the signing of an agreement between Jordan and the UAE to launch a $100 million technology-focused venture capital fund on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordan and the UAE on Wednesday launched a $100 million technology-focused venture capital fund.

Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh attended the launch ceremony of the fund, which was launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) and Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADQ), the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Khasawneh stressed that launching the Jordanian-Emirati venture capital fund is part of a series of agreements and understandings between the countries and as part of the "distinguished brotherly ties" led by His Majesty King Abdullah and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The premier also expressed happiness for signing a memorandum of understating between the ministry and ADQ to establish a fund for entrepreneurship and innovation in continuation of previous memos and agreements in Aqaba.

He also expressed honour in heading the Jordanian delegation to launch the industrial integration initiative that seeks to enhance cooperation between Jordan, the UAE and Egypt, to reach a state of economic integration.  

Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ahmad Hanandeh and ADQ CEO Mohammed Sweidi signed the agreement.

Building on the UAE’s strategic industrial partnership with Jordan, ADQ is reinforcing its commitment to investing in advancing core sectors of the Kingdom’s economy and enhancing the global technology ecosystem, read an ADQ statement.

The fund complements ADQ’s strategy to unlock mutually beneficial growth opportunities and deliver sustainable financial returns to the UAE and its partners that drives value creation and long-term economic prosperity, the statement said.

The fund will invest in high-growth companies with proven business models, as well as funds primarily focused on Jordan.

As part of accelerating the Kingdom’s digital economy, the fund will be dedicated to tech start-ups and innovation-led companies specialised in sectors including information technology, telecommunications, financial services, education, food and agriculture, healthcare and life sciences, mobility and logistics, as well as clean energy technologies.

With 27 per cent of tech entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region of Jordanian nationality, the country is home to highly skilled talent and more than 600 technology companies, the statement said.. 

Sweidi said: “We established the $100 million fund with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship in recognition of the strong potential of Jordan’s tech ecosystem. Jordan’s dynamic marketplace offers vast investment potential in sectors where we have significant expertise. Moreover, we can serve as a committed partner to support their growth.” 

Hanandeh said: “Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in Jordan’s economic growth, and reflects our focus on partnering with world’ leading organisations to deliver positive impact and change. Designed to accelerate the transformation of the digital economy, ADQ will invest, alongside MoDEE, in high-growth technology companies that will help to create, promote, and drive new digital opportunities in Jordan, and reinforce our place on the world technology map.”

Last month, as part of an industrial partnership signed between the UAE, Egypt and Jordan, ADQ committed a $10 billion investment fund to enhance sustainable economic growth in five priority sectors across the three counties.

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