Dubai stock exchange on Wednesday launched a new platform to help family businesses and small companies raise money through private offerings as an alternative to IPOs.

Companies can access capital through diverse assets including equity and debt via the Arena platform, the DFM said on Wednesday at the Capital Market Summit 2024 in Dubai.

Venture capital firms can also expand their investor base by selling private market shares and thus accessing a previously unavailable liquidity pool.

The new platform supports growth opportunities for both companies and investors.

“For companies seeking to raise over 35 million dirhams ($9.53 million), Arena offers cost-effective access to an extensive network of investors and fosters a collaborative approach with transparency throughout the process,” the DFM said in a statement.

The Arena provides exclusive access to DFM private market investments, including early-stage growth opportunities to diversify their investment portfolios.

According to the exchange’s CEO Hamed Ali: "The platform combines the advantages and efficiency of direct listing with the DFM’s diverse investor base and capabilities."

Investors can easily access private investments in "the UAE’s most promising companies and brands unlocking investment opportunities that were previously inaccessible", he added.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)