Members of the Dubai Internet City (DIC) community have collectively attracted AED7.8 billion in funding since its launch.
The figure bears testimony to Dubai being one of the main drivers of technological innovation and investment in the region. A key enabler of Dubai’s future vision, DIC supports innovative technology companies that help fuel economic growth and smart city development.
DIC’s integrated network of 1,600 business partners spanning across various industries such as internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cybersecurity, cloud and robotics, has been crucial in providing a platform for conducive to ideation and the exchange of knowledge. Led by a new crop of results-driven CEOs, companies in nascent stages succeeded in garnering the strongest investor interest.
“Since its inception, DIC has played a key role in contributing to the UAE’s technology journey. Our specialised ecosystem continues to provide cutting-edge companies of all sizes with the right environment to achieve their strategic business goals, translating into a diversified local economy and productive partnerships that accelerate the implementation of the Smart Dubai vision,” said Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of DIC.
Over the past 12 months, several DIC partners have attracted notable investments that propelled them onto the international stage. These include the acquisition of Middle East e-retailer Souq.com by US e-commerce giant Amazon for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be in the range of AED2.2 billion ($600 million), in June 2017. Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem entered the ‘Unicorn Club’ of billion-dollar start-ups in December 2016. In its last funding round the company raised over AED1.5 billion ($550 million) from Japanese, Chinese and Saudi investors.
Mumzworld, an online shop for mother and child, was another firm to make waves in the e-commerce realm. The company received multi-million-dollar funding from the likes of Wamda Capital and Al Tayyar Travel Group. Another major finding announcement involved a Chinese consortium buying over Media.net, an ad-tech start-up, for a reported AED3.285 billion ($900 million) in late 2016—the third largest acquisition deal in the history of the advertising technology industry globally.
Partners of in5, DIC's enabling platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups, have also contributed to the record investment figures. Arabic music streaming app Anghami raised more than AED 106.6 million ($29 million) from regional investors and leading digital health platform Altibbi brought in funding worth AED18.4 million ($5 million). Several other start-ups received undisclosed funding that ranges from AED50,000 ($13,500) to six-figure sums.