Abu Dhabi / WAM
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has signed a new partnership with Sber, Russia’s largest commercial bank, providing services to more than 100 million customers and approximately 1 million enterprises and one of the largest digital ecosystem uniting over 60 companies in various industries.
Technology companies, startups, ventures and investors in the UAE and Russia will benefit from the new partnership, which seeks to establish a tech bridge between the two markets. The partnership aims to increase innovation-led enterprises’ market access and long-term commercial potential.
In the first half of 2021, investments in Russian startups tripled and exceeded a record $1 billion. Moscow-based Sber is actively extending its reach in the global technology and innovation space. It performs several initiatives in the field of education of aspiring entrepreneurs and supports operating technology businesses.
One of the flagship projects is “Sber500”, launched in 2018 as an international accelerator programme in a collaboration between Sber and 500 Global (500 Startups). The programme enables startups to work with Silicon Valley mentors for eight weeks. Graduates are successful both in the Russian and foreign markets.
As part of the agreement, companies participating in the Sber500 programme will gain access to Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem at Hub71, where they will benefit from its corporate and government partners and value-driven programmes that facilitate greater opportunities to raise funds and land commercial deals through a more efficient go-to-market outlet.
Additionally, Hub71 startups will gain access to Sber’s startup community and various programmes, providing a launchpad to penetrate the Russian market. Sber and Hub71 will identify mutually beneficial opportunities for tech startups to collaborate with major corporate partners in both countries.
Badr Al-Olama, Acting CEO, Hub71, commented, “Our partnership with Sber reflects our shared purpose to accelerate technology-driven solutions and bridge the gap between our two high-growth markets. Hub71 founders now have a clear path to access Russia’s thriving technology and innovation market. There is a strong talent pool and a lucrative market for robust investment in impactful tech ideas.
“Importantly, we expect Russia’s leading startups from Series A to C+ to connect directly with innovators, corporations and investment funds in Abu Dhabi. These connections will expand commercial potential of Russian startups, increase their potential to big-ticket land deals and enable founders to produce large-scale innovation in an open and flexible regulatory environment the UAE offers.”
Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, said, “Backed by the Government of Abu Dhabi and Mubadala Investment Company, Hub71 provides innovative companies in any sector with access to global markets, capital, and a network of partners. We will make a serious effort to develop cooperation with Hub71 to lead Russian startups. Essentially, we are creating a technological bridge between the two economies in the interest of the Russian Federation and the UAE. We are set to develop our operations in the Middle Eastern market further, primarily with the participation of our subsidiary Sberinvest Middle East Limited in Abu Dhabi, which has a primary mission to become a key partner in investment deals between Russia and the Middle East.”