A $150 million India-UAE venture capital fund has been announced at a recently held Expo 2020, in Dubai. It was announced by Ajai Chowdhry, HCL founder and chairman of the Start-Up Committee at FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).
The India-UAE fund will be set up in the UAE and will seek to source and invest funds to nurture promising India-UAE startups through an accelerator program. It will be funded by investors from the UAE, other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and India.
Over the next five years, the VC fund will invest in a minimum of 50 ‘demonstrated and validated’ startups based in India, aiming to have ten unicorns in its portfolio by 2025.
The VC fund was launched with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in the presence of Dr Saurabh Srivastava, chairman,(Indian Angel Network, NASSCOM), K. Kalimuthu (TiE), Padmaja Ruparel (consul [Eco & Com], consulate general of India, Dubai), S Venkatesh (India Angel Network, IAN Fund), R Lakshmanan (MCA management consultants) and Nirankar Saxena (deputy secretary-general, FICCI).
“The Fund will bring investment opportunities to startups in India and the UAE. The Indian Angel Network Fund (IAN) will offer benefits to the investors from the UAE including the experience and knowledge that India offers. We are delighted to witness this collaboration and hope to see great results in the near future.” said Dr Chowdhry while addressing the event.
“The present startup ecosystem is giving ample opportunities for the youth to bring their potential entrepreneurship capabilities. However, the unavailability of capital is the main obstacle in realising their full potential. This fund will help the young startups to grow and help them to contribute to economic growth and employment opportunities,” said Kalimuthu (TiE).
With bilateral trade worth $43 billion happening between the two countries, the UAE was India’s third-largest trading partner during the previous financial year. During April-October last year, it was the second-largest destination for exported Indian goods.