Venture capital developments in the Middle East

Leading representatives of the region’s venture capital (VC) sector participated in a panel discussion hosted by Conyers Dill & Pearman in Dubai to discuss developments in the industry and opportunities ahead.

It has been an eventful year for VC in the UAE and wider GCC region. Developments have included Amazon’s acquisition of Dubai-based e-commerce platform Souq.com, locally based ride-hailing platform Careem achieving unicorn status (US$1 billion valuation) with strategic investments from Japan, China and Saudi Arabia, and the launch of promising VC and FinTech initiatives in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”). The year has also witnessed the launch of Noon.com, a new e-commerce venture backed by Emaar Properties Chairman H.E. Mohamed Alabbar and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Panellists reflected on how the past 12 months can shape 2018, the likely impact of the DIFC and ADGM initiatives on the regional VC landscape, and hot sectors to watch for VC investment in 2018.

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