HUB71 launches innovation ecosystem to develop specialist technology sectors


Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has announced the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets, a dedicated Web3 specialist ecosystem, with more than AED7bn+ ($2 billion) of capital committed to fund Web3 start-ups and blockchain technologies from Abu Dhabi.

Hub71+ is a specialist ecosystem dedicated to advancing specific technology sectors. The first Hub71+ to launch is Hub71+ Digital Assets, focussing on unleashing the disruptive potential of Web3 and the growth of digital assets.

Web3 describes the evolution of the internet into a decentralised online space increasingly built on innovations such as blockchain technology and metaverse applications. Web3 start-ups, from seed to unicorn stage, will benefit from the ability to scale globally through Hub71+ Digital Assets, unlocking access to a host of programmes, initiatives, and its extensive range of Web3 focused corporate, government and investment partners in the UAE and global markets. Hub71+ Digital Assets will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) where Web3 start-ups can operate in a progressive regulatory environment, which offers world-class blockchain and virtual asset infrastructure.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest and safest financial institutions, and its research and innovation centre, FABRIC, join Hub71 as the anchor partner of Hub71+ Digital Assets. FAB will identify leading Web3 start-ups, entrepreneurs, and breakthrough technologies to help the UAE’s largest bank reimagine financial services in the metaverse.

Hub71 has also onboarded a diverse range of partners and Web3 players that form part of Hub71+ Digital Assets including digital asset exchanges and service providers Binance and MidChains, that will facilitate the discovery, trading, and custody of digital assets.

Technology Providers Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Mastercard will also help to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 and providing effective infrastructure platforms, and venture studio DAO will assist in facilitating the build and acceleration of new Web3 and digital assets start-ups.

Providing access to capital and investment opportunities, a number of venture capital funds will be available including Binance Labs’ $500 million Investment Fund to invest in Web3, Venom Foundation through its USD 1 billion venture fund, Venom Venture Funds (VVF) in partnership with ICEBERG Capital an ADGM regulated investment manager, Ton Foundations’ $250 million TONcoin. The fund, as well as existing venture capital partners from Hub71 are set to invest in Web3 companies.

In addition, blockchain platforms Algor and, Polygon, SUI Blockchain, Ton Foundation and Venom Foundation, will enable transparent recording, tracking, and sharing of assets.

The combination of these elements aims to support participating start-ups to launch tokens and promote tokenisation, as part of the fundraising journey.

Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hub71, said: “Hub71+ Digital Assets signifies that Abu Dhabi is open to disruptive businesses driving forward change and transformation on a global level. Decentralisation is the future of a blockchain-based internet, and Web3 start-ups will play an immense role in accelerating this transition. Teaming up with ADGM, FAB and its research and innovation center, FABRIC, alongside the world’s leading Web3 companies and enablers under one roof will provide founders with an opportunity to fundraise, develop and commercialize innovations safely while operating within the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the MENA region.”

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM, said: “We are pleased to strengthen our association with Hub71 on the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets. In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, we have seen the rise of new technologies, and ecosystems such as Web3 that have the potential to transform the world. At ADGM, we are dedicated to providing a holistic environment that facilitates a seamless and secure adoption of digital assets to foster the growth of this new digital landscape. This alliance will help start-ups and digital assets to benefit from ADGM’s diverse ecosystem and progressive regulatory environment by accessing world-class and innovative infrastructure. This further reinforces ADGM’s commitment to developing the UAE economy and keeping pace with global trends with a risk-based approach. We are delighted to be at the forefront of this revolution by empowering the next generation of businesses and look forward to the long-term growth it will present to the start-ups of the UAE and beyond.”

Suhail Bin Tarraf, Group Chief Operating Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), said: “FAB is trusted as a financial partner to our customers in the real world, and those same customers are now increasingly active in the Web3 space as well. Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to innovations such as blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse, is yet another way we fulfil our Customer First promise as we leverage new opportunities at the intersection of digital identity, ownership, and value. Through this partnership, it is our intent to meet our customers in this emerging digital space and keep them ahead with their financial needs.”

Web3 start-ups at the unicorn stage (valued at more than $1 billion) will also benefit from Hub71’s value creation programme to support business relocation to Abu Dhabi and growth in the Middle East and global markets.

Hub71+ Digital Assets will contribute to supporting the UAE Digital Economy Strategy, which aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to non-oil GDP to more than 20 per cent within 10 years.


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