Qatar Investment Authority Unveils Groundbreaking VC Fund

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is gearing up to introduce Qatar’s inaugural venture capital (VC) Fund of Funds, a groundbreaking initiative designed to propel innovation within the country. With an ambitious investment exceeding USD 1 billion, the Fund of Funds program aims to bolster both local and regional entrepreneurs by addressing existing funding gaps and fostering a thriving start-up ecosystem. 

The primary objective of this program is twofold: to generate market-level commercial returns aligning with QIA’s mandate of securing sustainable, long-term returns for Qatar while simultaneously nurturing a robust VC and start-up landscape in line with Qatar’s National Development Strategy (NDS3). This strategic move seeks to amplify the number of startups and enhance the availability of VC funding within the local market. 

The initiative endeavours to attract top-tier international VC funds and entrepreneurs to Qatar and the broader GCC region, injecting profound expertise into the local venture capital ecosystem and catalyzing the growth of regional venture capitalists and founders. Emphasizing sectors like technology, including fintech and edtech, as well as healthcare, the program will primarily deploy investments indirectly through other VC funds, while also enabling targeted co-investments with participating funds. Notably, the Fund of Funds program will exclusively focus on VC funds and abstain from investing in private equity, debt, or other financial instruments. 

QIA CEO, HE Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud said of the program: “There is currently no dedicated pool of capital in Qatar for companies that are past seed funding and are ready for Series A to Series C funding rounds. Building a well-connected start-up ecosystem network in Qatar is fundamental to diversifying the country’s economic base in the long term. 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.” 

Fund managers seeking to raise funds under this program must demonstrate a strong track record of commercial performance and a steadfast commitment to Qatar and the broader GCC VC and start-up ecosystem. They may be required to establish an operational presence in Qatar, outline expansion plans across the GCC, and establish a senior-level presence in the country. 

Aligned with its dual investment mandate, the program will welcome international, regional, and emerging local fund managers, fostering collaboration with the wider VC and start-up ecosystem in Qatar to maximize synergies and participation in various initiatives. This strategic endeavor is poised to accelerate the development of Qatar’s venture capital ecosystem, injecting financial resources and global best practices into the local market, thereby propelling innovation and entrepreneurial growth.