Regional startups fuel investment surge

by MMC
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CAIRO: Venture capital investments in the region have increased, with high-tech startups capturing a significant share of the activity.

Web3 applications, blockchain and companies focused on carbon control have secured substantial funding, strengthening the region’s role as a driver of innovation and change.

Fuze, a UAE-based digital asset infrastructure provider, announced a successful seed funding round, securing $14 million.

The investment was led by Further Ventures of Abu Dhabi and benefited from the participation of the American company Liberty City Ventures.

Founded in 2022 by Mohammed Yusuf, Arpit Mehta and Srijan Shetty, Fuze offers a platform that enables financial institutions, fintech startups and traditional businesses to integrate regulated digital asset products into their native applications.

“We are excited to build the future of regulated financial infrastructure and digital assets in the UAE,” said Yusuf.

“Regulations have played a pivotal role in propelling the UAE to a central position within the global digital assets sector. Receiving the support of Further Ventures, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, combined with the deep expertise of Liberty City Ventures, based in the United States, confirms the relevance and potential of Fuze’s mission to rapidly develop our infrastructure state-of-the-art in the region,” he added.

With this new capital in hand, Fuze is ready to pursue its expansion goals, improve its technology offering and recruit new talent to its team.

The company claims to be the first infrastructure provider to offer regulated digital asset products to its clients in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“We are building a suite of products that meets the growing demand for regulated digital asset capabilities through trusted channels. Our technology-driven approach is a game-changer for the region and provides our clients with a reliable bridge to the new era of investments and the future of finance,” added Yusuf.

Dubai’s Cultos Global secures investment for Web3 innovations

Dubai-based Web3 innovator Cultos Global has raised an undisclosed sum in its recent funding round.

Notable contributors included Sameer Mehta of Boat, Tarun Katial of Coto, Ashwath Bhat of Fractal Analytics and Vijay Ratnaparkhe of Bosch Southeast Asia, the latter of whom now contributes on the company’s advisory board.

The influx of funds is intended to strengthen Cultos Global’s product and engineering divisions in the UAE and India.

We are delighted to welcome His Highness Sheikh Ahmed not only as an investor but also as Chairman.

Martin Reynolds, CEO of Zero Carbon Ventures

“Cultos Global revolutionizes brand-customer engagement with a sophisticated, unified platform that seamlessly combines digital marketing and customer rewards programs. This transforms passive consumers into an active network of nano-influencers,” said Adib Samara, co-founder of the company.

The company enables brands to design and implement their brand token and rewards strategies, ensuring more organic acceptance that fuels operational efficiencies, increased conversion rates and a tangible increase in sales, according to the release Press.

“Cultos Global is excited to have industry leaders on board as we scale up our mission to provide brands with the ability to bring their rewards, loyalty and influencer marketing to Web3,” said the CEO Pavan Govindan.

“This allows brands to access first-party data with advanced security and enhanced privacy for consumers. With strategic investors supporting our vision, we are more confident than ever in making Cultos Global the preferred Web3 portfolio for the world’s leading brands,” he added.

Zero Carbon secures $5 million from Dubai’s ruling family

Zero Carbon Ventures, a UAE-based cleantech startup, has successfully secured $5 million in seed funding.

The investment comes from Sheikh Ahmed Mana Khalifa Al-Maktoum, an Emirati businessman and member of the ruling family of Dubai.

In addition to this financial boost, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum will also provide his expertise as a strategic advisor and will serve as chairman of the board of directors.

Co-founded by Peter Jodlowski and Martin Reynolds in 2022, Zero Carbon Ventures is unwavering in its commitment to championing carbon reduction technologies in the MENA region.

“I first met Martin and the Zero Carbon team in April this year and fell in love with their vision,” said Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum.

“The world now needs people like them to really get to work on delivering these types of projects.” I hired Zero Carbon to begin work on decarbonizing my own real estate portfolio in Dubai. I see immense potential in Zero Carbon, and I look forward to leading and doing my part in this crucial journey to net zero,” he added.

The company’s approach is structured around four central pillars: waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency and sustainable materials.

This new capital injection is expected to catalyze sustainable Zero Carbon efforts, particularly in the run-up to COP28.

The Global Climate Summit will be hosted by the UAE later this year, and Zero Carbon Ventures is preparing to play an important role in guiding sustainability discussions during the event.

“We are delighted to welcome His Highness Sheikh Ahmed not only as an investor but also as Chairman,” Reynolds said.

“His involvement is more than an endorsement; it is a powerful union of vision and purpose. Our ambition has always been to implement tangible changes. Our fully established and experienced management team, with His Highness at our side, is incredibly well placed to take our sustainability initiatives even further,” he added.

Jordan’s DigiZag Lands Seven-Figure Series A Funding Round

DigiZag, a digital advertising and performance marketing startup headquartered in Jordan, has successfully closed a seven-figure Series A funding round.

The substantial investment comes from the SME Investment Fund, managed by Al-Arabi Investment Group.

Created in 2015 by Saif Atout, DigiZag offers a suite of technological solutions for performance-based marketing.

These solutions help businesses and institutions optimize their advertising campaigns to drive revenue and sales growth.

With this capital, DigiZag is poised to further strengthen its market position and enhance its digital footprint in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, signaling a promising growth trajectory for the startup.

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