DIFC & MEVP Sign Agreement to Strengthen Regional Technology VC Ecosystem
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the MEASA region, has signed a MoU with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), a Middle East-focused venture capital firm that invests in the early and growth stages of innovative companies, to facilitate the exchange of information on the latest trends in the finance industry, with a focus on the fintech field.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority and Walid Hanna, Founder and CEO of MEVP, signed the MoU to enhance cooperation between DIFC and MEVP and to favourably encourage the development of the region’s venture capital technology ecosystem. The MoU will also enable both entities to work together towards launching initiatives and future regulations that ensure an attractive and competitive investment environment for the region’s technology focused entrepreneurial base.
The venture capital industry continues to grow in the region, especially with increased investments in small and medium sized businesses. The laws and regulations at DIFC along with the continued emphasis on fintech incubators and accelerator programmes at the Fintech Hive at DIFC continue to support the industry’s growth.
Commenting on future collaboration between the two entities, Arif Amiri, said: “As one of the first Venture Capital Asset Managers licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), MEVP Capital is an important partner for us at DIFC. Increased cooperation between both parties will be key in stimulating growth and investment activity in Dubai’s Venture Capital sector. We are particularly excited that our MoU will also provide a platform for MEVP to explore co-investment and co-management opportunities in relation to DIFC’s USD 100 million Fintech Fund.”
The DIFC’s $100M Fintech Fund was announced during the inaugural Global Financial Forum (GFF), organised by DIFC in Q4 2017. The fintech-focused fund is set to accelerate the development of financial technology by investing in startups from incubation through to growth stage and help fintech firms access the MEASA markets.
MEVP has invested over $40M in more than 30 startups including fintech startups such as Pinpay ($1.1M), HyperPay ($700K), and most recently, TreasuryXpress ($5M). Walid Hanna, said: “DIFC plays a central role in supporting the growth of the financial services industry and in driving inward investments that strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The significant increase in venture capital funding for start-ups witnessed by the UAE in recent years has further energised young innovators and opened doors for them to convert their ideas to tangible and viable business propositions.”