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Qatar Investment Authority to Launch New Venture Capital Program

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Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is set to launch the country’s first venture capital (VC) Fund of Funds, a strategic investment program to foster innovation. 

The Fund of Funds program will invest more than USD 1 billion in international and regional venture capital funds.

The program will have two key objectives. First, it will generate market-level commercial returns in line with QIA’s mandate to secure sustainable, long-term returns to the people of Qatar. Second, it will support the sustainable development of a VC and startup ecosystem in line with Qatar’s National Development Strategy (NDS3), which seeks to increase the number of startups and the availability of VC funding in the local market.

The program will aim to attract international VC funds and entrepreneurs both to Qatar and the wider GCC region, bringing deep VC and startup expertise, and contributing to the growth of a local and region base of venture capitalists and founders. The program will place a priority focus on the tech sector, including fintech and edtech, as well as the healthcare sector. It will primarily invest indirectly via other VC funds, but will be able to make targeted co-investments with the participating funds.

The Fund of Funds program will only invest in VC funds and not invest in private equity, debt, or any other funds. 

Fund managers wishing to raise funds will need to demonstrate a solid track record, including consistently strong commercial performance, to show a commitment to Qatar and be set to play an active role in the GCC VC and startup ecosystem. Commitments that may be required include establishing an operational footprint in Qatar, highlighting organic expansion plans across the GCC, and setting up a senior-level presence in Qatar. 

In line with the program’s dual investment mandate, international, regional, and emerging local fund managers will be part of it.

Commenting on the launch of the program, QIA CEO HE Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud said: “There is currently no dedicated pool of capital in Qatar for companies that are past seed funding and are ready for Series A to Series C funding rounds. Building a well-connected start-up ecosystem network in Qatar is fundamental to diversifying the country’s economic base in the long term. QIA is launching this program to help ensure that innovative businesses can readily access capital and support from VC funds, enabling them to scale operations and expand market presence in Qatar, across the GCC, and ultimately onto the international stage.

VCWire

05/03/2024