Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has released the list of startups for its first cohort of 2021. According to Hub71 the cohort includes startups such as the world’s first blockchain satellite constellation, SpaceChain.
Sixteen tech startups from eleven countries and seven sectors out of 150 applicants joined this year. The number of successful applications reflect an 11 per cent success rate that led to Hub71 selecting its first startups from India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mauritius and South Africa, in addition to its first SpaceTech startup, following the pioneering Emirates Mars Mission and recent selection of the UAE’s first female astronaut.
To ensure the world’s highest potential startups can access the region from the UAE capital, Hub71 selected startups that have collectively raised more than AED 274 million (USD 75 million) in funding from globally renowned institutions including Goldman Sachs and Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship, and world leading investors Y Combinator, Draper Associates, 500 Startups, Plug and Play and Techstars. The cohort includes startups developing disruptive technologies such as the world’s first blockchain satellite constellation and the world’s first AI/machine learning based ideation recommendation and sourcing platform for venue equipment, services, and F&B for events.
Following Hub71’s milestone of attracting more than 100 startups in under two years, applications for the cohort were received from 34 countries primarily from founders based in the UAE (38%), USA (10%), and UK (7%). Building on its broad range of technology sectors, Hub71 applicants were primarily from startups specialized in FinTech (24%), followed by Software (21%), E-Commerce (17%) and Artificial Intelligence (11%), all of which are high-growth and priority sectors to Abu Dhabi’s economic and digital transformation.
Ibrahim Ajami, Interim CEO of Hub71 and Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company, said: “Our first cohort of 2021 builds on our momentum and is a clear reflection of our emphasis on attracting and admitting the most promising startups from around the world to our dynamic community. As startups in our cohort have already raised $75 million in funding, it reinforces that Hub71 and Abu Dhabi have established a level of credibility that is unrivalled in the region.
“As our community evolves, we are preparing to launch our new generation of incentives that give founders more flexibility and choice to ensure we can meet their needs at any stage. We are also working on offering startups better opportunities to access the market and raise funding through stronger relations with our corporate partners and funds. This cohort will gain considerable opportunities to penetrate a growing market that is committed to embedding technology and innovation as part of its sustainable growth.”
Applicants for Hub71’s first cohort of 2021 stated that access to funding, customers and a community of like-minded individuals were the top three reasons for applying to join Hub71’s dynamic community.
Today, more than 15 local, regional, and international VC funds are based at Hub71 with assets under management worth more than USD 1.72 billion. The selection of the cohort follows the February 2021 launch of UK investment firm, Hambro Perks’ $50 million Oryx Fund based at Hub71. This is in addition to several new value-add programs and partnerships launched by Hub71 in the first quarter of 2021 to increase market opportunities in Abu Dhabi for entrepreneurs worldwide to develop proof of concepts (POCs), commercialize minimum viable products (MVPs) and raise capital, working closely with Hub71’s strategic corporate and government partners through the annual partner challenges program, “The Outliers”.
Each quarter, Hub71’s Selection Committee selects startups to join Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.