UAE will be fertile ground for Deep Tech startups, says Kart…

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) MFV Partners’ approach is to support visionary deep tech entrepreneurs who develop products and solutions that disrupt verticals and traditional ecosystems in automotive, manufacturing, retail, agriculture and knowledge services. Karthee Madasamy, Founding Managing Partner, MFV Partner. by Sandhya D’Mello

Posted: Sat Jun 11 2022, 9:42 PM

Last update: Sat, Jun 11, 2022, 9:51 PM

What is driving Palo Alto, USA to look to the Middle East region to expand its footprint? The answer seems simple. “The region is of increasing importance and focus to us and our portfolio companies,” says Karthee Madasamy, founding managing partner of MFV Partner, who recently concluded her trip to the region, including the United Arab Emirates.

“The visit to Dubai was part of a global trip to meet both portfolio companies and our fund’s limited partners. We have just added our first Dubai-based partner – Ruchi Dana – who will be instrumental in helping our portfolio companies grow in the region and cover investment opportunities in neighboring countries such as Israel and India,” Madasamy told the Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

What is Deep Technology? By its very definition, deep tech is hard-to-replicate proprietary technology that often uses laboratory research to incubate innovations that can be combined with existing technology to solve new problems. This kind of innovation is now driving all aspects of the global economy, says ambitious Madasamy, who has a portfolio of 12 companies,

“Given the scientific or technical challenges that deep tech startups typically face, there is often a misconception that deep tech takes a long time to return on investment. This is not the case. According to In our experience, deep tech companies don’t take a lot of capital or time to become big assets.For example, we were an early investor in PsiQuantum, the light-based quantum chip start-up. They only made their first investment in 2016 and are already valued at over $3 billion,” Madasamy said.

“Furthermore, as deep technology is needed to address important challenges related to climate and sustainability, quantum, space, computational biology, manufacturing, AI and quantum computing , the long-term potential of deep technology is hard to ignore.The UAE understands this and, with the region taking steps such as committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and announcement that it will invest $163 billion in clean and renewable energy and key technologies, we can expect high-tech companies to play a major role in achieving these goals.”

Deep technology offers transformational benefits to industries and society. Because of this, Madasamy believes it will be more insulated from market downturns and future downturns in the tech sector.

“I think deep tech is an area where the UAE needs to increase its exposure. This means attracting more PhD-level talent to the region, improving STEM education, and directing sovereign wealth funds to allocate more investment to space,” Madasamy said.

As founding managing partner of MFV Partner, Madasamy believes the Middle East is a critical market for him from a limited partner and holding company perspective. They see an opportunity to invest in high-tech companies that are truly disrupting global industries. About $2.6 billion in venture capital was invested in startups based in the Mena region in 2021, which set a record. While Israel has led the region in deep tech-focused startups to date, we see more potential for deep tech investments in the United Arab Emirates and even Saudi Arabia. With a thriving startup ecosystem and a government that continues to cultivate innovation, we believe the UAE will be fertile ground for high-tech startups for years to come,” Madasamy added.

MFV Partners’ approach is to support visionary deep tech entrepreneurs who develop products and solutions that disrupt traditional verticals and ecosystems in automotive, manufacturing, retail, agriculture and knowledge services.

Madasamy says the UAE’s startup ecosystem and investment infrastructure has continued to improve over the past few years, with notable examples including Amazon’s acquisition of e-commerce startup Souq. com and ride-sharing company Careem acquired by Uber. The region has always had a strong geographical attractiveness based on its positioning between the major financial centers of the West (London/New York) and those of the East (Tokyo/Hong Kong) and has become an economic gateway between the two which makes it very promising for entrepreneurs looking to bring innovations to the Arab world.

“Going forward, partnering with other leading entrepreneurship hubs and multinational organizations is a logical next step to attract more talent and technology investment to the UAE. We are already seeing this play out with companies like G42, the leading UAE-based AI and cloud computing provider, collaborating with global organizations like IBM and AstreZeneca to bring game-changing innovation to the region,” said concluded Madasamy. —


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Donald E. Patel