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ADIO allocates Dh1b to 37 companies

ADIO kicks off 2022 by welcoming three new Innovation Programme partner companies: Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital, and COFE App
ADIO kicks off 2022 by welcoming three new Innovation Programme partner companies: Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital, and COFE App

Incentives totalling Dh1 billion, out of total programme size of Dh2 billion, awarded to 37 innovative companies supporting expansion of intellectual property in high-growth areas


A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:38 PM

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has kicked off 2022 with three new Innovation Programme partnerships, bringing total incentives awarded to date to Dh1 billion.

Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital, and COFE App join a total of 37 companies benefitting from ADIO’s Dh2 billion Innovation Programme since its 2020 launch.

The Innovation Programme companies operate in high-growth, tech-focused industries, with 13 in the information & communications technology (ICT) sector, nine in agriculture technology (AgTech), eight in health services & biopharma, and seven in financial services. The programme is fuelling the development and diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy, led by an innovation ecosystem in which Innovation Programme companies create technological solutions to benefit the region and beyond.

Mohamed Al Dhaheri, acting executive director – Business Enterprise, ADIO, said: “ADIO’s Innovation Programme is attracting approximately two new fast-growth tech companies to Abu Dhabi every month. Its success speaks to the emirate’s commitment of building an environment where businesses can come together to ideate, collaborate and create."

He noted that the 37 Innovation Programme partners are already making an impact regionally, and that ADIO is committed to helping fast-track their progress by equipping them with the necessary resources and support for growth. "With a remaining Dh1 billion of incentives ready to be allocated through the programme, we look forward to welcoming many more innovative companies to our forward-looking community where they can make a real impact globally.”

As part of the Innovation Programme, ADIO has awarded Fairwater Capital, Frontera Capital, and COFE competitive financial incentives, including rebates on highly-skilled payroll and allowances and high-tech CAPEX, as well as non-financial incentives, such as support with establishment processes and ecosystem engagement.

Fairwater Capital and Frontera Capital are financial services companies that will advance financial innovation in and from Abu Dhabi. The emirate provides a great base and a gateway for financial services companies to expand, serving as a bridge between time zones, while providing a favourable regulatory environment via the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

ADIO’s partnerships will enable Fairwater Capital to set up its global quantitative research hub, global data centre and operations hub in ADGM to support and expand the range of its investment strategies including credit and renewables.

Paul Lavelle, CEO and partner at Fairwater Capital said: “Abu Dhabi is the ideal hub for harnessing the strengths of the local economy and community and complementing them with outstanding international talent to create an international centre of quantitative research and data.”

Frontera Capital is a boutique investment firm which focuses exclusively on matching international investor risk appetite with domestic funding needs in frontier markets. With ADIO’s support, Frontera Capital will expand its capabilities from ADGM in originating, structuring and distributing frontier market risk through enhanced ADGM-based infrastructure and support.

Vicente Pons, CEO and founder of Frontera Capital, said: “At Frontera Capital, we deploy market-leading research in frontier markets’ debt and FX markets to identify and structure investment opportunities for institutional investors globally. With an extensive global reach, we considered several other financial centres before settling on Abu Dhabi because of the emirate’s business-friendly environment as well as its convenient time zone, central location to a larger number of frontier markets and excellent global and regional logistics networks."

COFE App is a coffee-centric application for the beverage market, that provides quick access to a wide range of international coffee franchises and artisanal coffee brands through multiple premium services and features on one platform. The partnership with ADIO will see COFE App relocate its global HQ to Abu Dhabi, where the startup will continue expanding the coffee marketplace and place further foothold in the beverage and tech ecosystem.

COFE App founder and CEO, Ali Al Ebrahim, said: “ADIO’s confidence in COFE App will further pave the way for growth in the emirate. With Abu Dhabi’s strong infrastructure and hunger for all things ‘smart’, coupled with the unique offering we have created at COFE and a diverse and talented global team, I truly believe we are creating an ecosystem that will lead the coffee marketplace into a new era.”

Since 2020, ADIO has established 37 company partnerships and built an ecosystem where partner companies can collaborate with one another and with Abu Dhabi entities to develop locally relevant and globally exportable solutions. The technologies created by the Innovation Programme companies in the emirate are contributing to the emirate’s economic diversification.

ADIO’s support has brought to the emirate Anghami, STARZPLAY, Lyve and Pure Salmon, which have established their global HQs here, and Bespin Global, which has set up its Mena HQ in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71. These companies have chosen the emirate for its ease of doing business, enabling regulations, established infrastructure and deep talent pool, making it an ideal location from which to spearhead innovation.


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