• Startups in first cohort of 2021 have raised over AED 274 million (USD 75 million) from leading global investors and answer to Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors – FinTech, Software, E-Commerce and AI 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, announces its first cohort of 2021, selecting 16 tech startups from 11 countries and seven sectors out of 150 applicants to join its vibrant community. The number of successful applications reflect an 11 per cent success rate that led to Hub71 selecting its first startups from India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mauritius and South Africa, in addition to its first SpaceTech startup, following the pioneering Emirates Mars Mission and recent selection of the UAE’s first female astronaut.

To ensure the world’s highest potential startups can access the region from the UAE capital, Hub71 selected startups that have collectively raised more than AED 274 million (USD 75 million) in funding from globally renowned institutions including Goldman Sachs and Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship, and world leading investors Y Combinator, Draper Associates, 500 Startups, Plug and Play and Techstars. The cohort includes startups developing disruptive technologies such as the world’s first blockchain satellite constellation and the world’s first AI/machine learning based ideation recommendation and sourcing platform for venue equipment, services, and F&B for events.

Following Hub71’s milestone of attracting more than 100 startups in under two years, applications for the cohort were received from 34 countries primarily from founders based in the UAE (38%), USA (10%), and UK (7%). Building on its broad range of technology sectors, Hub71 applicants were primarily from startups specialized in FinTech (24%), followed by Software (21%), E-Commerce (17%) and Artificial Intelligence (11%), all of which are high-growth and priority sectors to Abu Dhabi’s economic and digital transformation.

Ibrahim Ajami, Interim CEO of Hub71 and Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company, said: “Our first cohort of 2021 builds on our momentum and is a clear reflection of our emphasis on attracting and admitting the most promising startups from around the world to our dynamic community. As startups in our cohort have already raised $75 million in funding, it reinforces that Hub71 and Abu Dhabi have established a level of credibility that is unrivalled in the region.

“As our community evolves, we are preparing to launch our new generation of incentives that give founders more flexibility and choice to ensure we can meet their needs at any stage. We are also working on offering startups better opportunities to access the market and raise funding through stronger relations with our corporate partners and funds. This cohort will gain considerable opportunities to penetrate a growing market that is committed to embedding technology and innovation as part of its sustainable growth.”

Applicants for Hub71’s first cohort of 2021 stated that access to funding, customers and a community of like-minded individuals were the top three reasons for applying to join Hub71’s dynamic community.

Today, more than 15 local, regional, and international VC funds are based at Hub71 with assets under management worth more than USD 1.72 billion. The selection of the cohort follows the February 2021 launch of UK investment firm, Hambro Perks’ $50 million Oryx Fund based at Hub71. This is in addition to several new value-add programs and partnerships launched by Hub71 in the first quarter of 2021 to increase market opportunities in Abu Dhabi for entrepreneurs worldwide to develop proof of concepts (POCs), commercialize minimum viable products (MVPs) and raise capital, working closely with Hub71’s strategic corporate and government partners through the annual partner challenges program, “The Outliers”.

Each quarter, Hub71’s Selection Committee selects startups to join Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem. To apply, visit www.Hub71.com  and to apply to “The Outliers” visit here.


Q1 Cohort 2021 Startups: 

  • Dawsat: Dawsat leverages the power of technology and local culture to reverse the diabetes and obesity epidemic facing the Arab world. Israel | HealthTech
  • Eva: World's first AI/ML-based ideation, recommendation, and aggregated sourcing platform for venue, equipment, services and F&B for events. UAE/India | E-Commerce
  • Fortyguard: A turn-key smart system aimed at mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) effect. UAE | CleanTech
  • GLEAC: Boosts the success rate of job seekers and engineers’ performance of existing workforces in just 10 minutes of upskilling a day. India | AI
  • Handl: Allows users to send images of any documents into an API and receive structured data in any format. USA | AI
  • KILDE: A regulated private debt investment platform raising debt capital for online lending companies from institutional and accredited investors. Singapore | FinTech
  • Klaim: Simplifies insurance claim management and speeds up the payments enabling them to focus on their core business. UAE | FinTech
  • Knack: A talent development platform that helps enterprises develop modern leaders, at scale, by enabling companies to create personalized coaching & learning. UAE | Software
  • Kobo360: Technology platform deploys analytics to connect cargo owners to multi-modal means of transportation, tracking their cargo in real time from pick up to delivery. Nigeria | E-Commerce
  • Minly: Building the leading creator economy platform in MENA. The company provides necessary tools for celebrities and content creators of all kinds to monetize and connect with their audiences at scale. UAE | Software
  • Pyypl: Provides essential financial services to unbanked/underbanked consumers in the Middle East and Africa. UAE | FinTech
  • Volt Lines: Premium bus-sharing network that offers a door-to-door superior alternative to public transportation. Turkey | Software
  • Sauce Capital: Building a platform for virtual brands to produce on-trend foods for delivery using its very own application called “CHEW”. UAE | E-Commerce
  • SpaceChain: Building the world's first blockchain satellite constellation. Alongside ESA and Innovate UK. Singapore/UK | SpaceTech
  • Ukheshe: The Ukheshe Eclipse API is an end-to-end solution for FinTechs, Telcos and banks, designed to deliver cost effective, quick to market payment products and services that enable customers to pay & get paid. Mauritius/South Africa | FinTech
  • UnitX: Helps enterprises and government agencies derive value from their data through rapid and easy adoption of AI to achieve real economic impact. KSA | Software 

Visit the full list of Hub71 Startups here

About Hub71:

Hub71, named after the UAE’s formation in 1971, is a tech ecosystem located in the heart of Abu Dhabi that brings together several key elements for startup success: access to capital, access to market opportunities, and a favorable business environment. Backed by Mubadala Investment Company – its growing international tech community of tech giants, venture capitalists, tech ecosystem players, and global startups can expect to benefit from an interconnected global network. Alongside strategic partners Microsoft, SoftBank Vision Fund, and Abu Dhabi Global Market; Hub71 is creating the optimal environment for transformative tech companies looking to maximize success, produce outstanding tech innovations, and scale globally. For the greater social and economic good of Abu Dhabi, Hub71 is a flagship initiative of the Dh50 billion economic accelerator program ‘Ghadan 21’, which means ‘tomorrow’ in Arabic. For more information visit www.hub71.com  and follow us on @Hub71AD #Hub71.

Media contacts:
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