Abu Dhabi Financial Group invests in Silicon Valley VC 500 Startups

500 said ADFG would be “injecting substantial capital” to support expansion into new markets



Silicon Valley venture capital fund 500 Startups has announced a “significant investment” from Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG).

The size of the “strategic stake” acquired by the Abu Dhabi-based private investment company was not disclosed.

500 said ADFG would be “injecting substantial capital” to support expansion into new markets and the anchoring of future global funds.

ADFG CEO Jassim Alseddiqi said 500 had access to deals in many global markets that traditional VCs do not and the investment would support his company’s technology initiatives.

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The CEO of ADFG’s technology arm Algorythma, Saleh Al Hashemi, will join 500’s board of officers.

ADFG has more than $6bn of assets under management and 500 Startups manages more than $400m in committed capital.

The US fund has invested in more than 2,000 companies including Twilio, SendGrid, Credit Karma, Canva Grab and Talkdesk and also provides start-up and investor programmes and conferences.

“I am proud to be working even more closely with ADFG to accelerate 500’s future growth, invest in more promising companies, and further achieve our mission as one of the most active VC firms in the world,” said 500 Startups CEO and founding partner Christine Tsai.

The investment comes amid increased interest in the Silicon Valley start-up scene by Gulf sovereign wealth funds.

In October, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala established a venture capital arm based in San Francisco to oversee an early growth fund with Japan’s SoftBank and other investments.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala partners with Softbank for 15 to 16 technology investments

Mubadala and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund also account for the majority of committed capital in SoftBank’s $100bn vision fund targeting technology investments.

Read: SoftBank Vision Fund, Saudi Arabia to create world’s biggest solar power firm