Dubai-based HyperSpace raises $11m in seed funding round

Dubai-based HyperSpace raises $11m in seed funding round
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Updated 18 November 2021

Dubai-based HyperSpace raises $11m in seed funding round

Dubai-based HyperSpace raises $11m in seed funding round

RIYADH: HyperSpace, a company building the world’s first Blockchain enabled and Extended Reality (XR) native physical attractions, has raised $11 million in equity and development seed funding, a statement revealed.

The aim is to use the investment to create immersive entertainment attractions for a social media and metaverse generation, the company said.

Led by Introsight and Dubai Financier Mohammed Afkhami, the funding is one of the largest seed rounds ever seen in the Middle East region, according to the statement.

GoPuff Founder and CEOs Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, Bolur Capital, Farbro Group, and Scott Ross of HillPath Capital Partners participated in the round.

The funding will be used to develop proprietary-owned technologies that will create transparent blockchain integration, real-time asset creation, and a living augmented reality (AR) layer over physical space within an entertainment park – bringing the virtual, to reality.

Headquartered in Dubai, HyperSpace is developing a physical front end to the metaverse, purpose-built physical environments with real-time connectivity to digital worlds and lifestyles. 

HyperSpace's funding will support the development of the interconnected software platform and real-world locations to create a bridge to the metaverse, Founder and CEO, Alexander Heller, said.

The metaverse is a natural progression of our digital and physical lives converging.  

HyperSpace plans to open two entertainment parks in Dubai in the second half of 2022 – House of Hype in Dubai Mall across 100,000 sq. ft, and AYA at Wafi City across 40,000 sq. ft. 


TASI in green as recession concerns ease: Closing bell

TASI in green as recession concerns ease: Closing bell
Updated 18 sec ago

TASI in green as recession concerns ease: Closing bell

TASI in green as recession concerns ease: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index ticked up in its first trading session of October as investor recession fears subsided.

The Tadawul All Share Index ended  0.72 percent higher to reach 11,487; the parallel market Nomu edged 0.34 percent higher to 19,939.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended with a 0.28 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 1.31 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, fell 0.63 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 2.43 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi gained 1.48 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.93 percent.

Saudi Paper Manufacturing Co. decreased by 0.19 percent, after it signed SR166 million ($44 million) agreement with Italy-based Toscotec for a raw tissue paper roll production line.

Retal Urban Development Co. dropped 0.28 percent, after its shareholders approved a cash dividend of SR2 per share for the first half of 2022.

Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co. declined 1.61 percent to lead the fallers, after the company and UK-based WPP postponed their merger agreement until Oct. 31, 2022.

Middle East Healthcare Co. led the pack of gainers with an increase of 9.93 percent.


PIF’s green bond issuance to bolster market, says London bourse official

PIF’s green bond issuance to bolster market, says London bourse official
Updated 1 min 11 sec ago

PIF’s green bond issuance to bolster market, says London bourse official

PIF’s green bond issuance to bolster market, says London bourse official

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund green bonds will help bolster the regional and global green bond market, which last year amounted to $900 billion, the head of Debt Capital Markets and Funds at the London Stock Exchange told Al-Arabiya.

The fund currently manages assets of over $600 billion. The PIF targets those sectors for investment that are in line with the framework of green bonds and the fund offers complete transparency to investors, Shrey Kohli added.

As of now, the framework and prospectus of the PIF are available on the London Stock Exchange platform, which allows investors to gain an understanding of the fund’s strategy.

Kohli said the London Stock Exchange supported the PIF during its tour to promote the green bonds and fund witnessed an overwhelming investors’ response from around the world.

The fund has hired a large group of banks including Citi and JPMorgan to arrange a debut issuance of multi-tranche US dollar-denominated green bonds.

BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, mandated as joint global coordinators and active book runners.

A debut issuance in tranches of five, 10 and potentially a longer-dated tenor will follow, subject to market conditions. The issuance will be under GACI First Investment Co. and guaranteed by the PIF.

Credit Agricole, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Mizuho, SMBC Nikko, SNB Capital, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered are also active book runners, while ANB Capital, BofA Securities, Bank of China, GIB Capital, ICBC, IMI Intesa Sanpaolo, Morgan Stanley, MUFG, Natixis, Riyad Capital and Saudi Fransi Capital are also on the deal.


SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers
Updated 02 October 2022

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has bought the 16th batch of wheat worth SR8.84 million ($2.35 million) from 18 local farmers.

It is part of the organization’s arrangements to ensure adequate wheat supply by procuring grain from abroad and through local farmers. 

The current batch of local wheat weighed 5 tons, according to a SAGO statement.

Since the beginning of the current season, it added, wheat worth SR823.53 million has been bought from local farmers.


UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition
Updated 02 October 2022

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

RIYADH: The Dubai Metaverse Strategy is aiming to create 40,000 virtual jobs in the next five years, as the city aims to become one of the top 10 global metaverse economies.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Crown Prince of Dubai, who officially launched the Metaverse Strategy said that metaverse will shape a new digital future for humanity, news agency WAM reported.

“Dubai is emerging as a major contributor to shaping a new global vision for advanced technology and a pioneer in adopting next-generation digital innovation,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

The Metaverse Strategy also aims at attracting over 1000 companies in the significant field of blockchain and metaverse.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the two main enablers of the metaverse, and it has created 6,700 jobs, along with contributing $500 million to the economy of the UAE.

Egis completes WME acquisition

French firm Egis has completed the acquisition of Dubai-based engineering consultancy WME, according to a MEED report.

The deal was initially announced in March and with its completion, WME’s managing director Peyman MoHajjer will lead the newly formed Building Engineering practice for Egis in the region.

“The joining of WME into Egis Group opens the door to create substantial growth opportunities and deliver greater benefits for customers in our key Middle East and India markets, in line with our global strategy to enhance our international presence,” said Laurent Germain, Egis Group CEO.

Alaa AbuSiam, CEO of Egis Middle East said, “Together with WME, we’re now well positioned to help our clients successfully navigate the transition to a more efficient and sustainable built environment.”

WME is a firm known for providing civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, audio-visual, information technology, security, and infrastructure engineering services.


Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 
Updated 02 October 2022

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

RIYADH: The Qatar Investment Authority has agreed to invest $2.43 billion in Germany’s largest power producer RWE AG, to help it buy US firm Con Edison Inc’s Clean Energy Businesses subsidiary for $6.8 billion.

According to a Reuters report, RWE will issue a mandatory convertible bond to a QIA subsidiary, through which Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will become a 9.1 percent shareholder in RWE.

By acquiring Con Edison’s Clean Energy Businesses, RWE is expected to become one of the major players in the US renewable energy sector.

The transaction will nearly double RWE’s US renewables portfolio to more than 7 gigawatts and grow its regional project pipeline by 7 GW to more than 24 GW.

Following the takeover, solar will account for 40 percent of RWE‘s US portfolio, up from 3 percent now, according to presentation slides.

“Our equity capital measure is the basis for financing the acquisition of Con Edison CEB and of the additional green growth in the years to come,” RWE Chief Executive Markus Krebber said in a statement late on Saturday.

He added: “I am delighted that the QIA is supporting RWE’s accelerated growth ambitions with their capital commitment.”

The deal, the biggest for RWE since the breakup of former division Innogy announced in 2018, will be earnings accretive right away, giving RWE additional core earnings of $600 million a year.

Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, said that the fund is proud to support RWE’s vision to become a leader in the global renewable energy market.

“QIA is actively investing in companies that can have a positive impact on society and shape the future of sustainability by making the energy transition a reality,” he added.

The deal comes nearly a year after RWE fleshed out its global renewables roadmap, which includes $49 billion of gross investments by 2030, with 15 billion earmarked for the US.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2023, will make RWE the fourth-largest renewables player in the US market.

The deal plays a key role in the company’s green expansion, though still far behind the largest player NextEra with some 58 GW of generating capacity. 

Barclays and Latham and Watkins advised Con Edison on the deal.

(With input from Reuters)