India-UAE Venture Capital Fund To Boost The Start-up Ecosystems In Both Countries
The UAE is the leader and the most active hub of the start-up system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and they have collectively raised nearly $2 billion in 196 deals in 2021. This VC Fund is crucial for Indian start-ups which are poised for an exponential growth in the post-pandemic era.
Launching the fund, HCL founder and FICCI’s start-up committee chairman Dr Ajai Chowdhry said the fund’s purpose is to source, invest, and nurture promising start-ups through an accelerator to fuel the growth of India-UAE start-ups. It will be funded by investors across UAE, India and wider GCC countries.
The fund will also act as a catalyst for providing a process for developing early-stage start-ups in India and the UAE into viable global ventures and making them attain the unicorn level.
It will target to invest in a minimum of 50 demonstrated and validated start-ups based in India and the UAE over a period of five years, turning 10 unicorns by 2025.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Dr Saurabh Srivastava Chairman, Indian Angel Network & Co-Founder, NASSCOM, Founder of TiE, Mr K. Kalimuthu, Consul (Eco & Com), Consulate General of India, Dubai, Ms Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder- Indian Angel Network (IAN) and President of IAN Fund and others.
Mr S. Venkatesh, Managing Partner, MCA Management Consultants, Mr R Lakshmanan, Senior Partner MCA Management Consultants and Mr Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary-General, FICCI, were also present.
Addressing the event virtually, Dr Ajai Chowdhry said: “The Fund will bring investment opportunities for start-ups in India and the UAE. The IAN will offer benefits to the investors from the UAE including the experience and knowledge that India offers. We are delighted to witness this collaboration and hope to see great results in the near future.”
Indian Start-ups Growing Fast
Dr Saurabh Srivastava said that in recent years, new processes have been developed keeping in mind the changing needs of the economy, be it in technology, EVs, FinTech, agriculture or communication, which would get a boost through this VC Fund. “The Indian start-up ecosystem is maturing fast, and India aims to be the No.1 start-up ecosystem in the World,” he said.
In his comments, Kalimuthu said: “The present start-up ecosystem is giving ample opportunities for the youth to bring their potential entrepreneurship capabilities. However, the unavailability of capital is the main obstacle in realizing their full potential. This fund will help the young start-ups to grow and help them to contribute to economic growth and employment opportunities.”
India Has 60,000+Startups
Padmaja Ruparel said: “India has 60,000+ start-ups which is a testimony to the entrepreneur mindset of the young Indian generation and innovative solutions being developed. IAN is excited to participate in the VC Fund as a founding member and grow the entrepreneurial eco-system in the UAE by expanding its investor base and sharing its expertise in developing an Accelerator.”
Venkatesh said: “Under the guidance and initiatives of the Indian Government, the start-up ecosystem is exploding and targeting to be ranked first globally in successful start-ups. The UAE aims to become home to 20 unicorns by 2031. MCA is excited to participate as a Founding Member to the VC Fund and keen to support the growth and development of start-ups in the UAE.”
Meanwhile, LAFFAZ Media from India has launched INDO-MENA Corridor (IMC) as an integrator focused on Indian and MENA start-up ecosystems – connecting tech start-ups with potential investors, and advisors through a seamless application process accompanied with knowledge-sharing delivered through virtual events hosted by LAFFAZ.
The INDO-MENA Corridor was planned during the early-COVID period and it took six months to roll out the same. The news start-up approached various ecosystem enablers to join forces as ecosystem partners and received positive responses from Microsoft for Start-ups Middle East, a dedicated program for MENA-based B2B start-ups to help them successfully scale their companies; and StartupScale360, UAE-based start-up ecosystem builder that connects all key stakeholders, founded by Swethal Kumar, former VP of Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi SWF, and ex-Hub71.