ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi-based Access Bridge Ventures (ABV) has announced the first close of its early-stage venture capital fund, with prominent Saudi names listed among the investors.
The fund is targeting a final goal of over $25 million. ABV plans to use it to support high-growth tech startups from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan and the wider Middle East region.
It announced commitments from regional institutional investors such as Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company, the Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) and Jada, which was set up by the Public Investment Fund in 2019 to focus on investments in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Issa Aghabi, ABV co-founder and managing partner, said: “The MENA landscape has transformed over the past few years, with entrepreneurs and startups acting as a catalyst for economic growth and development. ABV has the ability to identify and cultivate this new breed of tech companies, many of which are extraordinary in their own right, and help them realise their full potential. Securing our first close reflects the confidence in ABV’s capabilities and investment strategy, where we lead the round and support our founders throughout their journey.”
SVC is a Saudi government venture capital fund established in 2018 by Monshaat as part of the Private Sector Stimulus Program. It has a mandate to invest SR2.8 billion ($750 million) in local SMEs and startups.
Jada was launched in late 2019 to support Saudi diversification efforts, as the private sector increased its share of the gross domestic product. “With a capital of SR4 billion, the company will serve as a catalyst for SME investment and provide new job opportunities,” the PIF said in a statement.