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    HomeEcosystem NewsVenture Capital & Funding SourcesWith Previous Backing in Egypt and Tunisia, Oman Opens New $180M Fund...

    With Previous Backing in Egypt and Tunisia, Oman Opens New $180M Fund for Startups in North Africa

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    Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company ADQ, in collaboration with the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), has unveiled a significant initiative aimed at fostering technological advancement and digitalization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The newly launched Jasoor Fund, valued at $180 million, is poised to propel the growing technology landscape by extending support to startups and organizations focused on digital transformation.

    The initiative, announced in a joint statement by ADQ, emphasizes the fund’s strategic focus on bolstering Oman’s digital economy while simultaneously contributing to the broader technological evolution across the MENA region. Spearheaded by the Oman Information, Communication and Technology Group (Ithca Group), a subsidiary dedicated to enhancing digital infrastructure and investing in technology-driven enterprises, the fund aims to channel investments into sectors crucial for economic diversification and sustainability.

    Key sectors earmarked for investment include finance, education, healthcare, clean technology, agriculture, and logistics. Notably, the fund’s primary emphasis remains on supporting enterprises within Oman, underscoring a commitment to foster indigenous innovation and economic growth.

    Managing Director and Chief Executive of ADQ, Mohamed Alsuwaidi, reiterated the company’s dedication to driving investments that unlock potential sectors of the economy while delivering enduring value for stakeholders. Alsuwaidi emphasized the collaborative efforts between ADQ and OIA in advancing trade and promoting investments that foster mutual economic growth.

    The establishment of the Jasoor Fund marks a significant milestone in the partnership between ADQ and OIA, which was initiated through a comprehensive framework agreement in 2022. This agreement, envisaging investment opportunities exceeding $8 billion across Oman’s key industries, underscores a shared commitment to economic development and diversification.

    Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, President of the Oman Investment Authority, hailed the creation of the Jasoor Fund as a pivotal moment for Oman’s technology sector, envisioning a new era of innovation and growth. The partnership, he emphasized, is poised to propel Oman and the wider region into a future driven by digital transformation and technological advancement.

    The launch of the Jasoor Fund comes amid a burgeoning technology landscape in Abu Dhabi, which has been strategically positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology in the region. Recent developments, including significant investments from global tech giants such as Microsoft and Qualcomm, underscore Abu Dhabi’s commitment to nurturing a thriving tech ecosystem.

    Concurrently, Oman, while renowned as an oil exporter, is strategically transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy and digital society. The country’s ambitious digital transformation program, spanning from 2021 to 2025, aims to enhance public and private sector services through the development of the IT industry.

    Said Al Mandhari, Chief Executive of Ithca Group, underscored the alignment of the Jasoor Fund with Oman’s venture capital investment strategy, emphasizing its focus on supporting cutting-edge technological projects and empowering Omani youth to innovate and expand globally.

    The strong economic and bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman have laid a solid foundation for collaborative ventures, with recent high-level talks between President Sheikh Mohamed and Sultan Haitham paving the way for enhanced cooperation in renewable energy, technology, and infrastructure.

    Oman’s proactive approach to venture capital investment is evident through its government-owned venture capital fund, the Oman Technology Fund, which has previously supported promising startups in North Africa, including Tunisia’s Galactech and Egypt’s Homzmart, Bekia, and SWVL. Therefore, startups in North Africa are expected to be the biggest beneficiary of the new fund launched by Oman.

    Charles Rapulu Udoh is a Lagos-based lawyer, who has several years of experience working in Africa’s burgeoning tech startup industry. He has closed multi-million dollar deals bordering on venture capital, private equity, intellectual property (trademark, patent or design, etc.), mergers and acquisitions, in countries such as in the Delaware, New York, UK, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Nigeria etc. He’s also a corporate governance and cross-border data privacy and tax expert. As an award-winning writer and researcher, he is passionate about telling the African startup story, and is one of the continent’s pioneers in this regard.

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