Abu Dhabi launches ‘Hub71+ Digital Assets’ with $2b funding for Web3 startups

Scheme is focused on unleashing the disruptive potential of Web3 and the growth of digital assets

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Ashwani Kumar

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Suhail Bin Tarraf, group COO, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM, and Ahmad Ali Alwan, deputy CEO, Hub71, during the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets in Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo
Suhail Bin Tarraf, group COO, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM, and Ahmad Ali Alwan, deputy CEO, Hub71, during the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets in Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo

Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 5:22 PM

Hub71 on Wednesday launched ‘Hub71+ Digital Assets’, a dedicated Web3 specialist ecosystem, with more than $2 billion of capital committed to fund Web3 startups and blockchain technologies from the UAE’s capital.

Hub71+ is a specialist ecosystem dedicated to advancing specific technology sectors. However, Hub71+ Digital Assets will be focusing on unleashing the disruptive potential of Web3 and the growth of digital assets.

“Hub71+ Digital Assets signifies that Abu Dhabi is open to disruptive businesses driving forward change and transformation on a global level. Decentralisation is the future of a blockchain-based internet, and Web3 startups will play an immense role in accelerating this transition,” Ahmad Ali Alwan, deputy CEO, Hub71, said.

Hub71+ Digital Assets will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, and its research and innovation centre Fabric join Hub71 as the anchor partner of the project. FAB will identify leading Web3 startups, entrepreneurs, and breakthrough technologies to help the UAE’s largest bank reimagine financial services in the metaverse.

Officials at the launch event. - Supplied photo
Officials at the launch event. - Supplied photo

“Teaming up with ADGM, FAB and its research and innovation centre, Fabric, alongside the world’s leading Web3 companies and enablers under one roof will provide founders with an opportunity to fundraise, develop and commercialise innovations safely while operating within the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the Mena region,” Alwan noted.

Web3 describes the evolution of the internet into a decentralised online space increasingly built on innovations such as blockchain technology and metaverse applications. Web3 startups, from seed to unicorn stage, will benefit from the ability to scale globally through Hub71+ Digital Assets, unlocking access to a host of programmes, initiatives, and its extensive range of Web3 focused corporate, government and investment partners in the UAE and global markets.

“In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, we have seen the rise of new technologies, and ecosystems such as Web3 that have the potential to transform the world," Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO, ADGM, said.

"At ADGM, we are dedicated to providing a holistic environment that facilitates a seamless and secure adoption of digital assets to foster the growth of this new digital landscape. This alliance will help start-ups and digital assets to benefit from ADGM’s diverse ecosystem and progressive regulatory environment by accessing world-class and innovative infrastructure,” Al Mheiri said.

Suhail bin Tarraf, group COO, FAB, noted that bank’s customers are now increasingly active in the Web3 space.

“Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to innovations such as blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse, is yet another way we fulfill our Customer First promise as we leverage new opportunities at the intersection of digital identity, ownership, and value. Through this partnership, it is our intent to meet our customers in this emerging digital space and keep them ahead with their financial needs,” he said.

Web3 startups at the ‘unicorn’ stage – companies valued at more than $1 billion – will also benefit from Hub71’s value creation programme to support business relocation to Abu Dhabi and growth in the Middle East and global markets.

Hub71+ Digital Assets will contribute to supporting the UAE Digital Economy Strategy, which aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to non-oil GDP to more than 20 per cent within 10 years.

Web3 startups can apply now at https://hub71.com/plus/digitalassets to join Hub71+ Digital Assets, and benefit from Hub71’s range of incentives and value creation programmes that support the growth of Web3 startups.


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