Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s tech hub, attracts seven additional international startups

1 August 2019, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Just weeks after announcing the first four startups that had joined Hub71, the Abu Dhabi-based tech hub, seven additional startups will bring a significant part of their operations and presence to Hub71 as well. The announcement underpins the push by Hub71 and Abu Dhabi to attract local and international talent and startups to the capital, as the regional startup ecosystem continues to grow.

The startups come from a variety of countries and backgrounds, including two Emirati founders – Basil Al Askari of MidChains and Faisal Al Hammadi of YACOB, as well as other Arab, Asian and American founders. Moreover, the startups span six different industries, including healthcare, travel & tourism, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, social impact and FinTech, which has been the top industry by number of deals in both 2018 and 2019 YTD.

The startups that will be joining Hub71 are:

  • YACOB: a digital health nutrition management platform that helps children and parents, schools and food vendors; improve their nutrition, health engagement and meal production.
  • SafarPass: a travel tech SaaS platform with an all-in-one solution to manage business trips and expenses on-the-go.
  • ProTenders: a leading B2B platform for the construction industry to connect, find new deals and manage bidding activities.
  • MidChains: a fintech company and a regulated digital asset trading platform uniquely positioned to service institutional and professional investors.
  • Humanitas: a US-based company that uses Artificial Intelligence to drive social enterprise and philanthropy using a mobile app, Dandi, that enables organizations and youths to engage and collaborate on community issues.
  • Ammbrtech: a US-based blockchain and telecoms infrastructure company that designs and develops decentralized hardware and software products.
  • Arabot: an Arabic and English language Artificial Intelligence chatbot platform that understands and analyses conversation and dialogue, for business applications.

These companies will benefit from Hub71’s incentive packages, which include subsidized housing, office space and health insurance plans for founders and their employees. The packages, which will save startups up to AED 3.5 million of non-dilutive capital, are designed to help firms invest their available capital on growing their businesses and attracting highly qualified engineers.

These startups are also planning their next phase of growth, and through Hub71 they will gain access to a global network of interconnected business enablers and industry partners.

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, commented: “We are proud to welcome seven new startups that are focused on building innovative products and businesses at Hub71. We are seeing more and more Emirati Nationals becoming entrepreneurs, innovating and taking risks to pursue their dreams. Basil Al Askari and Faisal Al Hammadi are great examples of Emirati founders who believed in their product and have now branched out to build tech businesses, with success. Being resilient and focused on achieving a personal goal - one which may change the lives of many people - is what we aim to have more of in Abu Dhabi.”

MidChains is an up and coming Abu Dhabi-based institutional digital asset exchange and custodian.

Basil Al Askari, Co-Founder and CEO of MidChains, said: “Having searched the world for a financial center that was fit for our growing business and regulatory requirements, and as an Emirati National, I’m immensely proud to learn that Hub71 truly offers one of the world’s most competitive tech ecosystems. Hub71’s tech community and free office space made our growth plans possible. Having immediate access to a wider ecosystem of enablers was another essential element; especially for MidChains, a fintech company, which needs to operate globally right from the start.”

Deployed in over 65 schools and cafeterias, YACOB, a seed-stage startup, is also one of the first startups to receive co-investment from Ghadan Ventures, an AED 535Mn fund that seeks to support the growth of Abu Dhabi’s startup and VC ecosystem.

Faisal Al Hammadi, Founder and CEO of YACOB, said: “Being based at Hub71 was a strategic business decision that would allow us to have better access to funding, among other benefits. Hub71’s generous incentive package means that we’re able to grow faster, attract high-caliber talent, and can expand our operations globally. We look forward to partnering with the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, to help tackle important issues like child diabetes and obesity using smart nutritional programs. I’m excited to deliver this mission from the Capital and look forward to working with more schools and governments throughout the region.”

Hub71, strategically located in Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, aims to foster startup success, innovation and growth; and is uniquely positioned to bring together government entities, investors, corporations, academics and startups.

Startups from any sector will be able to apply for Hub71's Incentive Packages from Q4 of 2019.