ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — OurCrowd, Israel’s most active venture firm, is to significantly expand its Abu Dhabi operations with a new venture capital (VC) office and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech hub enabled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). The two new initiatives, which were announced during Abu Dhabi Finance Week, will see OurCrowd expand its team based at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to 60 over the next four years, as part of a USD 60 million investment by the company in the emirate.
OurCrowd and ADIO are collaborating to launch Integrated Data Intelligence Ltd (IDI) to commercialise AI for businesses. Based at ADGM’s Hub71, IDI will develop AI solutions that enable businesses to easily adopt and leverage the advanced technology. The launch of IDI reinforces Abu Dhabi’s commitment to support the expansion of innovative businesses that contribute to the emirate’s knowledge economy.
OurCrowd Arabia, which opened in the UAE capital in 2021, is also establishing a new VC investment centre in Abu Dhabi to manage deals for its existing platform and cater to emerging markets.
The two agreements strengthen the fast-growing ties between the UAE and Israel, which have advanced significantly since the landmark Abraham Accords were signed in 2020.
Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO, said: “OurCrowd is a great example of a company that has benefitted from Abu Dhabi’s enabling ecosystem to achieve accelerated growth. In just a year, OurCrowd has moved from an initial licence to an established market player, with its new investment centre and tech hub bringing additional VC and tech specialism to Abu Dhabi and expanding the availability of solutions and technology to companies.”
ADIO is partnering with OurCrowd through the Innovation Programme, which supports homegrown and international companies looking to grow in Abu Dhabi. ADIO has awarded OurCrowd a package of financial and non-financial incentives to accelerate its growth in Abu Dhabi.
Jon Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, said: “Following a global search for the most suitable location for IDI and OurCrowd’s new investment center, Abu Dhabi was by far the most fitting destination. The World Economic Forum ranks the UAE first in the world in best e-infrastructure and macroeconomic stability, and the third most-trusted government. These factors, with numerous other advantages including global talent and market access, underscore why Abu Dhabi is now home to OurCrowd Arabia and OurCrowd’s new AI spinoff, and why we will continue to invest in the innovation infrastructure and talent in the country.”
IDI is a commercial AI company that is developing AI solutions for business, including project-based and AI-as-a-service offerings. It will act as a technical hub of excellence using advanced data automation, AI and Machine Learning (ML) models to reduce costs and improve outcomes for data intensive tasks. The company will be headed by Dr. Hasanat Dewan, who has led innovation and technology transformation in an executive capacity for global financial institutions including E*TRADE Financial Corp., BNY Mellon, Russell Investments Group, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
OurCrowd Arabia, incorporated in ADGM in 2021 and headed by Dr. Sabah al-Binali, will ramp up its VC operations significantly as it works with stakeholders in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and beyond to invest and support the local VC ecosystem.
Dr. Dewan said: “IDI is the culmination of OurCrowd’s strategy to revolutionise its FinTech platform with AI functionality across the board. We intend to leverage these tools and architecture to deliver AI solutions that can be broadly used by external clients across industries including Financial Services, FinTech, Energy, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Government. We are recruiting the best talent from within the UAE and across the globe and to be a transformative catalyst for the AI ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.”
IDI will be established in ADGM’s Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem that enables founders to build globally enduring homegrown tech companies in any sector by providing access to global markets, a capital ecosystem, a global network of partners, and a vibrant community filled with highly skilled talent, governed by forward-thinking regulation.
Badr Al-Olama, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Hub71, said: “The financial strength of the UAE is centered in Abu Dhabi, and it spurs an array of investments that are deployed to support tech startups. By welcoming OurCrowd to Hub71, we are expanding our capital ecosystem of VCs, family offices, and active investors, creating more opportunities for our startups to raise funds to scale and grow their operations.”
The partnership agreement was signed by Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO, and Jon Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, at Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) 2022. Organised by ADGM, the event brings together a global audience of decision makers to accelerate the transformation of finance in the emirate.
ADIO established an office in Tel Aviv in 2021 to support innovative Israeli companies looking to establish and expand their operations in the UAE capital.