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Cloud Fund invests $2.5m in GCC tech start-up OneGCC

17 April 2017

MANAMA — C5’s Bahrain-based ‘cloud fund’ for the ME and Africa is delighted to announce that it is investing $2.5 million in GCC-based, digital, recruitment platform OneGCC. This is C5’s first investment through its cloud fund following the launch (in September 2016) of its Cloud 10 technology accelerator programme or ‘Scalerator’ powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

OneGCC, a digital, cloud-based, platform supporting the nationalization of GCC jobs, is one of the first intake of companies to graduate the Cloud 10 programme. The $2.5M investment is based on an overall valuation of $10M.
Cloud 10 is one of the first platforms in the region created to help young, technology firms (B2B firms e.g. Cybersecurity, FinTech, MedTech, EnergyTech etc) to ‘scale-up’ their businesses using the Amazon cloud. Through the Cloud 10 programme C5 aims to create 300 technology champions across the EMEA region over the next 4 years. As part of this C5 set up a ‘cloud fund’ in Bahrain which has $150M available to invest in fast growing, tech companies in the MENA region that are using the cloud to scale regionally and globally. The fund is a multi-stage fund focusing on Series A to late stage investments.

Hadyah Fathalla, Executive Director of C5, said “OneGCC is one of a number of high quality, disruptive, young tech companies from the GCC region to come through the Cloud 10 programme. In line with our investment strategy we are investing in OneGCC because of the regional trend to employ GCC nationals and its unique and fast growing Arabic employment and talent platform that runs on AWS.”

Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, Chief Executive Officer of OneGCC, said: “We expect to exceed a million job seekers and on-board 2000 employers / companies before the end of 2017. We already have an extensive expansion plan ready and are excited to start executing it very soon. Today, at least 20,000 large corporations in Saudi alone suffer from achieving their nationalization quotas and we are eager to start supporting around the GCC region as soon as possible.”

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She added: “A substantial amount of the investment will also go towards developing specific algorithms that will replace the need to hire recruiters every time a company has a job opening. We are working so that the platform will make use of all the data we are collecting including psychometric analysis, numerical & verbal reasoning and other skills and information to recommend the best candidates for any given job post whilst taking into consideration each company›s hiring trends. We are working very hard on developing a new technology that we will be able to later use and replicate for other regions and parts of the world.”

Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “The cloud 10 programme encourages technology focused entrepreneurship and OneGCC, being the first of its kind, makes a valuable contribution to Bahrain›s technology sector.

“It plays a major role in ensuring that Bahrainis remain competitive globally by improving the diversity of skills offered in the Kingdom.

“The technology and startup industry is one with great potential for growth, and is one of EDB’s target sectors. We look forward to seeing further initiatives which strengthen Bahrain’s position as a regional and global digital economy.”

The 3-month rolling programme is divided into a series of sprints or tutorials that cover all aspects of scaling up a technology business such as operational scaling and business planning; customer acquisition and marketing; management and governance; product development and accessing investment. The programme is delivered by a resident CTO and supported by a highly experienced group of prominent international tech entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors. 

© The Saudi Gazette 2017

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