Mar 12, 2024 449

Qatar reportedly has a $100M fund for startups


“Startup Qatar Investment Program,” is backed by a Qatar Development Bank (QDB)-managed $100 million fund.

Qatar unveiled its startup investment program, the "Startup Qatar Investment Program," during the recent Web Summit through its development bank, backed by a $100 million fund managed by the Qatar Development Bank (QDB). The initiative seeks to attract seed and growth-stage tech companies aiming to establish or expand their operations within the country. With funding of up to $500,000 for early-stage startups and up to $5 million for growth-stage companies, the program also offers access to markets and expertise across over 15 sectors, including fintech, clean tech, and AI.

QDB CEO Mr. Abdulrahman Hesham Al Sowaidi emphasized the strategic importance of positioning Qatar as a major startup hub, particularly in the tech sector, to foster innovation and accelerate technology adoption. Aligning with models employed by venture firms like Alpha Wave Global, Qatar's program aims to support entrepreneurship, attract and retain talent, and contribute to a sustainable and business-friendly economy. The launch of Qatar's fund of funds and startup program represents a crucial step toward developing its tech ecosystem to rival neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Despite Qatar's relatively low venture capital investment in startups compared to its neighbors, the region's heightened engagement in venture capital, spearheaded by its sovereign wealth fund and development bank, offers a promising outlook for the broader MENA region. As local investors play a significant role in backing startups, Qatar's initiative contributes to fostering competition and innovation in the region, with potential benefits for both local and international entrepreneurs.