Qatar venture capital investment up 40% in first half of 2021, QDB official says
The Development Bank of Qatar (QDB) concluded the fourth edition of its “Investment Forum”, which was held on Monday under the theme “Transforming economies through a new investment paradigm”.
QDB interim CEO Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi said the forum complements and builds on the successes of its predecessors by introducing highly relevant and crucial topics that aim to explore new horizons for the next generation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with investors and venture capital funds (VCs) to transform industries and improve the investment environment in Qatar.
“This annual meeting reflects the importance of investing in startups and SMEs. It has gained even more ground in recent times, as the percentage of investment in these companies globally has increased by 4% to reach $ 300 billion in 2020 alone, ”al-Sowaidi noted, adding that the forum aims to advance the country’s status as a leading actor. global investment destination.
“Despite the consequences of the pandemic, Qatar has maintained the same level of growth … the total investment in venture capital in Qatar has increased by more than 40% in the first half of 2021 compared to the year 2020”, underlined al-Sowaidi.
The forum saw the participation of more than 350 participants, including angel investors, investment banks, private companies and professionals interested in the field of investing. Attendees also included a number of business accelerators, venture capital funds, and various entities interested in exploring and connecting with startups in different industries and growth stages.
In addition, the forum saw the launch of a specially designed integrated digital platform that enables fast growing companies to present relevant information about their businesses and target increase amounts to investors looking for promising new ideas. and emerging companies, and allows for virtual meetings, to explore investment opportunities and to establish mutually beneficial collaborations. The platform is accessible via investment.qdb.qa
The forum also featured a special panel discussion by renowned industry experts from Qatar and around the world. Entitled “Accelerating Economic Transformation Through Venture Capital”, the panel explored the opportunities available in early stage innovative companies.
During the event, and as part of its continued collaboration with national partners and stakeholders, QDB signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar Financial Center to promote investment in SMEs, advance status of Qatar as an investment center, enrich the entrepreneurship ecosystem and contribute to the growth of the national economy.
The forum ended with a pitch session in which a selected group of companies presented their activities to participating investors with the aim of raising funds for their companies. The presentations were followed by a series of over 30 meetings between investors and participating startups to network and explore investment opportunities together.
Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Mohamed al-Emadi, head of angel investments at QDB, noted that technology has become a promising sector, citing the role played by tech companies and startups during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would say this is great proof of how the tech industry helps us in our lives … if you look at the larger market cap companies today that are listed on different global public markets, they actually operate in the technology sector, so that gives you an indication of that sector, ”he explained.
Through its various programs and incubators, QDB aims to support SMEs, while further developing the private sector in Qatar. The bank, through its investment department, also aims to be an effective catalyst for socio-economic development and works to improve the investment climate in Qatar and advance its ranks as a destination of preferred investment, especially after securing its rank as the third safest country. worldwide in the Global Finance Safety Index 2021.