QIA to invest over $1 billion in venture capital funds

By Thomson Reuters Feb 27, 2024 | 3:20 AM

DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund on Monday said it would invest over $1 billion in international and regional capital funds as part of a strategy to develop the venture capital and start-up sector in the gas-rich Gulf state and neighbouring states.

Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani announced the launch of the fund, which Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) said in a statement would only invest in venture capital funds. It would not invest in private equity or debt.

The so-called venture capital “Fund of Funds” would aim to yield market level commercial returns for the sovereign wealth fund in addition to developing Qatar’s venture capital sector.

It would also aim to attract international venture capital firms and entrepreneurs to Qatar and other Gulf Arab states to develop Qatar’s start-up sector, QIA said.

“QIA is launching this program to help ensure that innovative businesses can readily access capital and support from VC funds, enabling them to scale operations and expand market presence in Qatar, across the GCC, and ultimately onto the international stage,” QIA Chief Executive Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud said in the statement.

QIA has accelerated investments in technology in recent years. Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement as he opened the Qatar Web Summit, the first Middle East edition of one of the world’s largest tech conferences.

(Reporting by Andrew Mills; Writing by Muhammad Al Gebaly, Adam Makary and Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)