Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital fund founded by Silicon Valley natives, has on Wednesday announced its first $100 million Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) fund.

The firm said in a statement that it has received $20 million in commitments from some of Qatar’s most prominent families: anchor investor, the multi-faceted Al Khor Holding with 60 years of heritage; the Al Attiya Group known widely for its tremendous support for developing local businesses; and Sheikh Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani.

The announcement of the first close of its $100 million MENA Fund I backed by the pillars of Qatar’s private business community represents a major step forward in Golden Gate Ventures’ ambitions to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the MENA region.

The fund combines the aggregate regional influence of its investors and the deep startup ecosystem development experience of Golden Gate Ventures spanning Silicon Valley and Asia.

It is noted that Golden Gate Ventures MENA Fund I is the first international venture capital fund to be established and managed within Qatar.

The $100 million fund will focus on powering startups in key sectors such as alternative energy, green technology, business to business (B2B) artificial intelligence, and energy-related deep tech.

Supporting innovation in these high-demand areas will complement Qatar’s international leadership in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and alternative energy, cementing its growing global influence in the energy space as the world picks up the pace on the climate agenda.

Other strategic sectors that MENA Fund I will cover include fintech, healthtech, and edtech, which will further Qatar’s economic diversification agenda.

“We are extremely honored to partner with Al Khor Holding, Al Attiya Group and Sheikh Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, on our inaugural fund in MENA,

“Their collective impact in the region is invaluable and underscores Qatar’s commitment to the regional startup ecosystem. MENA is emerging as a growing innovation hub, with Qatar rising as a beacon of progress,” said Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures.

She said the combination of a supportive government with progressive economic policies; a strong emphasis on diversification and innovation; a well-educated and diverse population; and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit positions Qatar for remarkable growth.

A representative of Al Khor Holding, said that at Al Khor Holding, the firm is strong advocates for the continuous development and expansion of new industries and sectors within the Qatari business landscape.

“It is with great pride that we announce our decision to become an anchor investor in the Golden Gate Ventures MENA Fund I, marking a significant milestone as the first international venture capital fund established and managed in Qatar,

“Furthermore, we are confident that our collaboration with Golden Gate Ventures MENA Fund I will yield tangible benefits for Qatar’s socio-economic landscape,” the representative said.

By facilitating the emergence of innovative solutions, creating employment opportunities, and supporting the national development agenda, the representative said the firm contributing to the realization of Qatar’s vision 2030 and for a diversified, knowledge-based economy.

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Financial Center, said the launch of Golden Gate Ventures in Qatar represents a notable progression towards diversifying the venture capital sector.

“Golden Gate Ventures’ expansion into the region, marked by the establishment of their headquarters in Qatar, is poised to nurture a thriving business environment, accelerate entrepreneurship and foster growth within Qatar’s startup ecosystem,” he said.

Maryam Bint Khalid Al Attiyah, said they foresee the impact this initiative will have on various economic, technological, educational & cultural aspects of their communities.

Hussain Abdulla, Senior Advisor at Golden Gate Ventures, said that the fund is in line with Qatar’s Third National Development Strategy 2024-2030.

“We aim to support entrepreneurs, attract talent, create jobs, and attract foreign direct investments,” he said.

Michael Lints, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, said that Qatar is at an important point in its development as a global economy and MENA Fund I will supercharge the startup ecosystem, building on the extensive social and financial capital of the firm’s investors, as well as its deep experience in building thriving startup ecosystems.

Ahead of establishing its MENA presence in 2023, Golden Gate Ventures spent close to a decade building deep ties across the region, creating the right networks, and curating a senior team that has an intimate understanding of the tremendous opportunities in the region.

In that time, the firm had already established itself as a strong contributor to the startup ecosystem, bringing deep expertise from Silicon Valley and supporting Singapore’s growth as a startup hub on the global map.

In the last two years, Golden Gate Ventures has witnessed remarkable growth: expanding its presence with the establishment of its Vietnam operations in 2022 to capitalize on its rise as a leading global economy; launching an office in Saudi Arabia in 2023 to tap into opportunities in the Middle East – Southeast Asia corridor; and adding a New York presence in recent months to help portfolio companies raise funds from the region.

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