Abu Dhabi, UAE-based entrepreneurial ecosystem Hub71, on Monday, 12 October 2020, announced a strategic partnership with French investment bank, Bpifrance to strengthen joint efforts to boost innovation and provide mutually beneficial opportunities for tech startups and entrepreneurs across Abu Dhabi and France. The partnership will lay the foundation of connecting the dynamic tech ecosystems of Abu Dhabi and Paris.
Hub71 and Bpifrance will launch various programmes that immerse select startups in the Abu Dhabi and French tech ecosystems, offering the successful startup applicants with access to mentorship, meetings with potential partners and opportunities to pitch investors. Each programme aims to develop new and innovative technology products and services designed for the UAE and French markets. Hub71 and Bpifrance have also agreed to explore co-investment opportunities in startups.
Commenting on the partnership, Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO at Hub71, in a statement said,
“Bpifrance shares our long-term commitment of promoting entrepreneurship, ensuring French startups can arrive in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 and use our dynamic ecosystem as a springboard to a prosperous Middle East and North Africa region.”
Khaled Al Shamlan, Head of Sovereign Investment Partnerships – Mubadala Capital, Mubadala Investment Company, said,
“We fully support Hub71’s new agreement with Bpifrance as it builds on our strategic relationship with the investment bank to raise funding opportunities for lucrative French tech businesses that can deliver significant returns on investment. As a global investor, we are proud to have a long and successful record of supporting French businesses, and our goal remains to provide investment opportunities for the latest crop of innovate French companies in the MENA markets.”
For his part, Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO at Bpifrance, commented,
“France is a hotbed for tech innovation with a deep talent pool, world-class universities and research institutions, and with 10,000 startups in various sectors, the French startup scene is thriving. Pooling our resources together with Hub71 creates an attractive value proposition that will help Abu Dhabi-based startups and entrepreneurs thrive in France.”
The MoU builds on a 10-year Bilateral Roadmap between the UAE and France which in addition to Mubadala Investment Company’s, strategic partner of Hub71 and one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, is, anchor investor in the LAC I Fund, a multibillion fund managed by Bpifrance which aims to raise €10 billion.
Bpifrance aims to contribute to economic development and promote growth for companies of all sizes, through innovation, financing products for corporate development and consulting. The bank also supports non-French companies by matching them with potential investors and partners, helping them build strategic tech partnerships and helping global startups enter France.