UAE-based telecoms and technology company e& (formerly Etisalat Group) has launched a $250 million venture capital fund as part of its new investment arm, e& Capital.
The new fund aims to support the tech startup ecosystem. It will seek to attract, engage and support start-ups and provide them with access to networks of investors and experts.
At the same time, e& capital will "further drive the tech ecosystem through larger investments at the growth stage beyond its VC fund."
The e& investment arm has already done some big deals. For example, it has invested 20 million in Vuz, an immersive social app that allows users to use extended reality (XR) and metaverse digital experiences.
e& has also invested in Lablabee, a technology start-up that aims to create a lab platform for cloud telecoms companies to offer more interactive and accessible learning.
In addition, e& capital has shown its support for early-stage entrepreneurs who have the vision to build big businesses by facilitating education, mentoring, networking and funding opportunities. Among other things, e& will support the best regional women founders.
Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO of e&, said:
We believe that trends shaping the future are worthy of investment. With the future-focused e& capital business model, we want to be innovation custodians by delivering on our business objectives, executing meaningful investments, and earning global exposure. The uniqueness of e& capital revolves around several core elements: leveraging the strong foundations of e&, supporting bold startups that can make a difference, and acting as a catalyst for turning big ideas into the leading businesses of tomorrow. Given the close interplay among e&’s diverse business pillars, e& capital will assess synergies that help us accelerate the business growth of startups and the Group.