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in5 to open dedicated space for investors

To drive investment and entrepreneurship in the region


in5, TECOM Group’s enabling platform for entrepreneurs in tech, design, and media, has announced the introduction of a dedicated space to accommodate angel investors, venture capitalists, and institutional investors at the in5 Tech center in Dubai Internet City.

An extension to in5’s current offerings, the permanent space will enable investors to directly engage with startups at in5 for funding and partnership opportunities, enhancing Dubai’s global status as an attractive destination for investment and entrepreneurs.

The announcement was made at Step Conference 2022, the largest tech festival in Dubai hosted in strategic partnership with Dubai Internet City.

The first-of-its-kind space provides the growing volume of investors entering the UAE’s business ecosystem a common meeting and work ground to engage one another as well as ambitious entrepreneurs at the heart of a thriving startup community.

in5 has always facilitated access to investors for businesses at varying stages of their entrepreneurial journey, from seed funding all the way to Series A fundraising. The addition to the enabling platform’s framework aims to further empower entrepreneurs with unimpeded access to potential investment opportunities and coaching sessions to stimulate growth and innovation.

MENA fundraising is growing

In recent years, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has become a hotbed for investment activity, paving the way for greater funding for emerging startups. According to the region’s leading data platform MAGNiTT, MENA recorded USD 2.6 billion in VC funding in 2021 – the highest the region has ever seen. The UAE was the most active market, with startups accounting for 45% of all funding raised across the region in 2021.

A supportive business framework, a growing number of startups, and its strategic location between the East and West are strengthening the UAE’s appeal among VCs and investors from around the world. Government-led initiatives have contributed to the country’s ranking as the best place to start a new business in the latest Global Entrepreneurship Index, which is likely to further fuel investor interest in MENA.

At the end of 2021, in5 startups reached a new milestone by crossing the AED 1.4 billion investment mark, a testament to Dubai's strong position and its enabling environment for promising investment opportunities. The direct investments came through venture capital and angel investors.

More than 500 businesses have been supported by the incubator since its inception, of which a quarter are led and managed by female entrepreneurs — nearly twice as high as the regional average of women-owned SMEs, according to the World Bank, and in line with international standards in places such as Australia, Europe, and North America.

Dubai has developed a globally competitive business ecosystem and emerged as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. Comprehensive physical and digital infrastructure and an enabling business framework have cultivated a fertile environment for talent and startups to grow, thrive, and innovate.

Notable startups that successfully secured significant investments through in5 include the buy-now-pay-later platform tabby, which raised approximately AED 485 million in the last year and now works with leading retail brands such as adidas, Ikea, and Shein. Sunglasses e-commerce company Eyewa, which secured AED 77 million in total funding, has also amassed a significant following.

Other innovative players include agtech startup Desert Control, which raised approximately AED 85 million in its initial public offering (IPO) on Euronext Growth Oslo. GrubTech raised USD 13 million in Series A funding, accelerating its expansion into international markets. Car subscription platform and in5 alumnus Invygo raised more than AED 15 million, while fintech startup Ziina raised more than AED 31 million.