Dubai has been breaking new grounds as an emerging global startup and innovation hub, and was recently ranked 29th in Nestpick’s 2017 Startup Cities Index ahead of the more established ecosystems including London, New York, and Tokyo.
Venture Catalysts (VCats), integrated incubator based out of India, has announced its launch in Dubai. The launch event at the Taj Dubai in Business Bay, was attended by more than 150 investors as well as several other key stakeholders from the region, including entrepreneurs. The incubator aims to create an integrated international entrepreneurship-focussed network which facilitates business knowledge and technical acumen between Indian and international startups, investors, and organisations.
Dubai has been breaking new grounds as an emerging global startup and innovation hub, and was recently ranked 29th in Nestpick’s 2017 Startup Cities Index ahead of the more established ecosystems including London, New York, and Tokyo. Strong support from the government has also been critical to driving the continued success of Dubai’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, paving the way for several successful startups like Careem, yallacompare, Fetchr, and Talabat.
Speaking on the launch, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder & President– Venture Catalysts, said, “Dubai, at present, is at a stage where India was around 10 years back. Several high-potential start-ups are making their presence felt in the regional market with their disruptive approach and their focus on leveraging technology. To unlock the next phase of their evolution, these ventures require institutional support from domain leaders, be it in terms of investment, mentoring, or business networking opportunities.”
“This is exactly where Venture Catalysts steps into the picture. Having created an entire ecosystem comprising promising startups, HNIs, investors, mentors, and incubators in India, we are looking to extend our effective and high-impact start-up support model to drive the growth of Dubai-based start-ups. This expansion will also help us to tap into the existing and future synergies between the markets in India and Dubai. We aim to enable an exchange of investments, business knowledge, and technological expertise between stakeholders in both regions for driving mutual growth,” he added
In addition to driving start-up growth, the move is also expected to give a massive fillip to the region’s investors and HNIs. Startups have established themselves as an extremely lucrative alternative investment avenue for HNIs across the globe; post a 2017 IPO, just seven years after its launch, personalized fashion provider Stitch Fix provided a valuation-to-investment capital (VIC) ratio of 47x.
Roku, a Silicon Valley startup which developed a popular streaming device and platform, also generated a VIC of 20x in its recent IPO. Many Indian start-ups – such as MakeMyTrip, JustDial, and redBus – have also generated double-digit multiplier returns for their investors. With most of Dubai’s top startups currently bootstrapped, investors and HNIs have an unparalleled opportunity to maximise their capital gains through startup investments.
VCats also marked its Dubai launch with an Investor Pitch Day, which saw six promising startups making their business pitches in front of 150+ prominent investors to secure capital funding. The selected startups – ImpactGuru, Kapiva, Rooter, Ideal Insurance, Hospals and University Living – were handpicked for their innovative business models, scope of growth, and disruptive potential in both the Indian and the GCC markets.