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in5 to launch dedicated space for investors

in5 was launched as a tech-focused business incubator before rapidly growing and evolving with state-of-the-art centres supporting tech, media and design startups
in5 was launched as a tech-focused business incubator before rapidly growing and evolving with state-of-the-art centres supporting tech, media and design startups

The new initiative cements Dubai’s global appeal as a destination for investment by offering investors and VCs agile set-up and engagement solutions



by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Thu 24 Feb 2022, 3:21 PM

Creating a global ecosystem for startups in the region will be incomplete without access to a regular stream of investments.

Towards this end, in5 has announced the launch of a dedicated space to accommodate angel investors, venture capitalists, and institutional investors at the heart of the in5 Tech centre in Dubai Internet City. The announcement was made at the Step 2022 Conference in Dubai, and is in line with in5’s mission to enhance the investment climate by boosting investor access to leading startups in its ecosystem.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Media City, explained that there has been a “drastic change” in the startups and investments industry. “It is critical to understand that evolution is an ongoing process, and that we have to be a part of this evolution. We have witnessed a good number of investments happening here, and we have also seen a good number of people coming in from all over the world who are drawn to the vibrant startups space that we have here in Dubai.”

The fact remains that without investments, the ecosystem will not work, he stated. “So, we now have to ask ourselves what more we can do to help startups in the region. The announcement today is a natural extension of our plans to meet the needs of an ever evolving and maturing industry.”

The first-of-its-kind space will provide the growing volume of investors entering the UAE’s business ecosystem with a common meeting and working ground to engage with one another, as well as directly meeting with ambitious entrepreneurs at the heart of a thriving startup community. It will also enhance Dubai’s global status as an attractive destination for investment and entrepreneurs.

“A lot of transit investors are coming through Dubai,” Al Suwaidi said. “We want to sit with them and make sure that we can showcase the work that we are doing and make it easier for them to engage with the great companies that are coming out of the region. The startups that we are seeing today are much more structured, polished, and sophisticated, and this has caught the attention of a new kind of asset class that we want to see more of in the region. For us, it is important that we look at it from both a commercial and mandate point of view.”

At the end of 2021, in5 startups reached a new milestone by crossing the Dh1.4 billion investment mark, a testament to Dubai’s strong position and its enabling environment for promising investment opportunities. The direct investments came through venture capital and angel investors.

More than 500 businesses have been supported by the incubator since its inception, of which a quarter are led and managed by female entrepreneurs – this is nearly twice as high as the regional average of women-owned SMEs, according to the World Bank, and in line with international standards in places such as Australia, Europe, and North America.

Notable startups that successfully secured significant investments through the incubator include buy-now-pay-later platform tabby, which raised approximately Dh485 million in the last year; and sunglasses e-commerce company, Eyewa, which secured Dh77 million in total funding.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com


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