After a very successful first European Edition Global Blockchain Congress, Agora Group is coming back to Dubai for its 12th GBC on December 11 and 12, 2023!

The Global Blockchain Congress leverages the experience gained through the hosting of the first 11 editions of the event in Dubai and the international editions in Vietnam and the UK to ensure maximum return on investment for all our sponsors. The previous editions of the Global Blockchain Congress were a tremendous success and we were able to host 1,500+ investors and 300+ blockchain startups and were able to raise millions in funds for our participating projects

The theme of this edition is: “Will the Next Bull Market Be Different?”
Topics of the Congress:
• Land of Decentralized Milk and Honey? Why Crypto
• Companies Are Warming to the United Arab Emirates.
• Digital Assets Outlook 2024.
• Web3 Gaming and the Path to Open Metaverse.
• DeFI, CeFi and ReFi – What’s Next?
• Blockchain Marketing: Shaking Up the Game with Trending Strategies

The event is a closed-door, exclusive congress that can be attended by invitation only where the format of the event is focused on pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between projects and investors.
Agora will be hosting more than 150 Investors, 25 Projects, 60 A-list Speakers & 30 Media Partners from all over the world.

Learn more about the event: gbc-uae.com

Register here: bit.ly/12th-GBC

Deep Knowledge Group, pioneers of big data analytics system and dashboard solutions have published a report on the top 100 tech investors in the UAE of which 4.6% of their investments are in blockchain technology while 2.9% are in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

The report makes several findings which include that 50% of the top 100 tech investors are venture capital entities with some of the well known blockchain investors including Crypto Oasis, Shurooq Partners, Seed Group, DisruptAD, Ghad Capital Parners, Mubadala and Ceras Ventures.

More than 50% of the top Tech investors are based out of Dubai UAE with 29% of their investments going to the Middle East startups, 17% going to GCC based entities and 18% in Africa.

74% of the top 100 tech investors have invested less than $10 million per deal, while only 11% have invested over $50 million.

In the last 12 months, Kube VC was the most active in terms of investments which totaled 48, followed closely by Maven Capital with 47 investments, and UAE Ghaf Capital making 20 investments.

The data from the report was gathered from all types of funding rounds, non-equity assistance, investors performance and characteristics were collected and analyzed according to various parameters set forth in Deep Knowledge Group evaluation criteria methodology.

The top 100 Tech investors in UAE have been selected based primarily upon the following criteria, ● number of investments made in DeepTech Companies;  potential for equity and non-equity financing (lead investors in seed/venture rounds); Investors overall background, intangible assets and philosophy;  investor investment activity;  % of successful investments; and  Investment impact on the company.

Within the framework of the given research, data related to over 3,000 investment deals, concluded by top 100 UAE tech investors, were collected. The share of deals concluded in 2022 constituted circa 20% of the total number of investment deals.

Data related to 2,600 portfolio companies, 77% of which are among active portfolio companies, has been gather and evaluated according to the ranking framework as well.

Prior to this report, LaraontheBlock issued a survey in early January 2023 entitled “MENA Investor Survey 2022-2023 for crypto Blockchain sector” found that 50% of those surveyed stated they will be allocating more funds to blockchain and crypto projects and entities in 2023. 19% of those surveyed stated in 2022 they had invested more than 50% of allocated capital and funds into crypto and Blockchain projects.

In June 2023 GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and MENA based Investcorp, a global alternative investment firm has led a $15 million investment round for BitMe a Spanish crypto exchange. Included in the list of investors was Telefonica Ventures, Stratminds VC, Cardano, and YGG Fund.While just this week, UAE based Global Millennial Capital Ltd (“Global”), an emerging technology and digital assets investment manager, and venture capital firm launched its Global Millennial Web3 Investment Program, out of UAE which aims to accelerate emerging companies to their full potential in the realm of Web3, DeFi, and Blockchain.

While Qatar has not opened up to the crypto scene, its financial center is opening up to digital assets enabling them to tokenize asset classes to facilitate the needs of qualified investors with its digital assets framework.

Henk Jan Hoogendoorn, Chief Financial Sector Officer, at Qatar Financial Center Authority speaking to Lara on the Block, stated, “ We are developing our digital assets framework to allow for public tokenization of assets, including securities, bonds, and real-estate.”

He emphasizes that they will not go into crypto, NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) or commodities at this time.

Hoogendoorn had discussed digitization in the financial sector in Qatar as well as their digital assets project and the new Fintech strategy of QCB (Qatar Central Bank) during a fireside chat on Digitizing the Financial Sector in Qatar, moderated by Robert Wigley OStJ, BSc, Hon DBA.

Furthermore, Aleksander Biesaga, Acting Project Manager, Roland Berger in a recent LinkedIn post noted, “It was a pleasure to speak to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority on unlocking a new era of ownership, trading and investment via digital assets and tokenization.”

He was referring to the workshop by Roland Berger on the new digital assets framework for Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).

Both entities QFC, and QFCRA, according to Hoogendoorn are developing and will facilitate the needs of qualified investors and investment firms to tokenize asset classes. He states, “We are looking forward to become a jurisdiction of choice.”

So it seems that while Qatar may not be warming up to crypto, it is moving forward  with its blockchain strategy and digital assets. In Q1 the Qatar Financial Authority signed an MOU with Blockchain entity Settlemint to forward digital asset industry and with R3 Blockchain firm for DLT (Distributed Ledger technology)  

 True Global Ventures 4 Plus (TGV4 Plus) Fund has closed its US$146m Follow on Fund. The Follow on Fund will double down on the TGV4 base fund investments, the likes of Animoca, Sandbox, Forge, Chromaway, CoinHouse, GCEX, and others. Interestingly 40 percent of the Follow on Fund was raised from partners in Middle East, India and Asia. Investment from Middle East partners was 3.4 percent of the 40 percent making their total participation 5 million USD. While portfolio companies such as GCEX, Enjinstarter and IoMob have established operations in Dubai UAE. TGV4 Plus has been partnering with MENA based investors including Cypher Capital and Crypto Oasis among others. 

Valerie Hawley, Affiliate Founding Partner, Middle East True Global Ventures 4 Plus , told LaraOntheBlock, “More than 40% of the Follow on Fund has been raised from partners based in the Middle East, India and Asia, of those 3.4 percent were from Middle East Partners in particular. This just goes to show the increasing importance this region has to play in the Venture Capital space.  Numerous portfolio companies from our base fund, GCEX, Enjinstarter and IoMob, have established operations in Dubai, and we expect many more to do so given the crypto friendly environment the UAE has established with the creation of VARA (Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority).”

The TGV4 plus Follow on Fund  whose 15 General Partners (GP), lead the fund and its Investment Committee, put in more than US$62m of their money into the fund. This is a total GP commitment of over 40% of the total fund size and over US$4m per GP on average. The first capital call of the fund has been fully paid in.

The TGV 4 Plus base fund invested in serial entrepreneurs leading globally ambitious Blockchain start-ups. It covers 20 cities in North America, Europe and Asia. The fund is dedicated to Web3 companies, primarily in late-stage Series A, B and C across 3 verticals: Entertainment & gaming, financial services, infrastructure & data analytics / Artificial Intelligence (AI).

It has invested in some of the leading Web3 companies such as Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, Forge, Chromaway, Coinhouse, GCEX, Chronicled and others. 

The new Follow on Fund will focus on investing a majority of its capital into selected TGV 4 Plus base fund companies. It might also invest in other late stage Web3 deals opportunistically.

“The base fund has been a fantastic success, but we are still only in the starting blocks of Web3. We believe that our early winners will grow even stronger and with the Follow on Fund, we give our partners an opportunity to invest more into these companies” says Fredrik Adolfsson, General Partner.

“After some years of growth, our best portfolio companies are looking to expand even further. We want to help and assist them with the Follow On Fund, as we are ready on the starting blocks, when many growth funds focus on regaining investors’ trust during this period”, says Konrad Wawruch, General Partner.

General Partner Dušan Stojanović adds, “We raised the money in record time in 4 months and we believe this is the best time to invest during market corrections. I would say that it is much easier to see more clearly who the winners are now. This has created a high level of confidence amongst our investors who have seen a large GP Commit and the first call being executed very quickly”.