Dubai is one of the richest nations in the word per capita, so TURN8 Partners, a Dubai-based venture capital investment firm has money for investing and has done so in many areas, including an “accelerator” program where funds and help are invested in people and ideas long before they are ready to open a business. But the big news from them this week is a new fund they’ve just created and funded.
The investment planned includes their accelerator program putting seed funding toward the early stages of startup companies and then further funding once those (and other) companies hit the growth stage. Initial funds put into the new fund equal $60 million and will be used for support of technology innovation mostly.
TURN8’s general partner, Kamal Hassan, said, “This strategic move comes from witnessing a major gap in the market for startups to grow from the accelerator stage into full-fledged businesses that attract venture capital. We are very excited to see more startups with different innovative technology rising from the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region and this fund will provide a further push to their business. The fund will continue to support the startup ecosystem and look for opportunities in technology innovation that match our portfolio requirements.”
TURN8’s accelerator was launched in 2013 and has helped start and invest in over 60 companies so far by providing pre-seed funding and mentorships to startups in many sectors including healthcare, education technology, enterprise cloud solutions, digital, crowdsourcing, and financial technology. Since inception, the combined Enterprise Value (EV) of the startups in the accelerator program has increased by 16 times and more.
The accelerator program brings startup teams along with the capital investment and provides mentorship, training, and a year-long business development support system, as well as the follow-on investment at the growth stage to help companies grow and scale globally.
Companies they’ve helped move forward include tech company – Pixelbug, online freight exchange marketplace – LoadMe, e-commerce delivery platform – Paack, and peer-to-peer payment service company Kashmi. Others include Foodiac, Kanari, MyTriPhoto, Keep Vision, and Interactive Glove.
DP World, also based in Dubai, helped set up the accelerator program in conjunction with Innovation360 – DP World has over 20 percent ownership in the fund and was the first anchor investor there.
Chris Burch is a venture capitalist and founder of Burch Creative Capital.