Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology ecosystem, has announced its first cohort of 2021, selecting 16 tech startups from 11 countries and seven sectors out of 150 applicants to join its vibrant community.
The number of successful applications reflects an 11% success rate that led Hub71 to select 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 the recent selection of the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The startups selected by Hub71 have collectively raised over AED 274 million ($75 million) in funding from world-renowned institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship, and leading global 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 recommendation and ideation sourcing platform for venue equipment, services and catering for events.
Following Hub71’s milestone of attracting over 100 startups in less than two years, applications for the cohort were received from 34 countries, primarily from founders based in the UAE (38%), US (10%) and UK (7%).
Drawing on its broad range of technology sectors, Hub71 applicants were primarily from startups specializing in FinTech (24%), followed by software (21%), e-commerce (17%), and artificial intelligence (11%), all of which are high-growth sectors and priorities for Abu Dhabi’s economic and digital transformation.
Hub71’s Acting CEO and Head of Enterprise and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company, Ibrahim Ajami, said, “Our first cohort of 2021 builds on our momentum and clearly reflects our commitment to attracting and admitting the most promising startups from around the world. As the startups in our cohort have already raised $75 million in funding, it reinforces that Hub71 and Abu Dhabi have established a level of credibility unmatched in the region.”
Applicants to Hub71’s first cohort of 2021 said access to funding, customers and a community of like-minded individuals were the top three reasons to apply to join Hub71’s vibrant community.
Today, more than 15 local, regional and international venture capital funds are based at Hub71 with assets under management worth more than $1.72 billion. The selection of the cohort follows the February 2021 launch of the UK investment firm, Hambro Perks, $50 million Oryx Fund, based at Hub71. This is in addition to several new value-added programs and partnerships launched by Hub71 in the first quarter of 2021 to increase market opportunities in Abu Dhabi for entrepreneurs from around the world to develop proofs of concepts (POCs), commercialize minimum viable products (MVPs), and increase capital, working closely with Hub71’s corporate and government strategic partners as part of the annual partner challenge program, “The Outliers.”
Each quarter, Hub71’s selection committee selects startups to join the global technology ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.