An often-overlooked Middle East technology and innovation hub, Jordan is quickly emerging as a leading tech startup destination in the region. With new investments pouring into the country, Jordan is hoping to reinforce its position as a regional and global player on the world technology map.
This week, Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, ADQ, launched a $100 million technology-focused venture capital fund with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) of Jordan to support high-growth technology companies and advance the country’s digital economy.
To accelerate Jordan’s thriving technology ecosystem, the fund will be dedicated to tech startups and innovation-led companies with strong growth potential and proven business models in specialised sectors, such as information technology, telecommunications, financial services, education, food & agriculture, healthcare and life sciences, mobility & logistics, and clean energy technologies.
“We established the $100 million Fund with the Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship in recognition of the strong potential of Jordan’s tech ecosystem,” said Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Managing Director and CEO of ADQ. “Jordan’s dynamic marketplace offers vast investment potential in sectors where we have significant expertise. Moreover, we can serve as a committed partner to support their growth. By unlocking access to our growing portfolio of leading companies, we intend to accelerate growth opportunities and market access for companies, entrepreneurs and funds that are at the cutting-edge of technology.”
Meanwhile, Jordan ranks number four for startups in the Middle East, and has more 600 technology companies registered in the country, making it a major technology hub.
And while it only received $119 million in startup funding in 2021, Jordan has one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the Middle East. It witnessed a 499% growth in startup funding in 2021 compared to 2020.
Some of the capital went into startups like edtech Abwaab, which raised $20 million in a Series A funding round in November 2021, and Eon Dental, a dental technology company, which raised $26 million in a Series B round, also during the month.
Jordan’s youth are key to its startup success. Consisting of highly educated and technologically savvy youth, technology entrepreneurs have shaped the region’s tech scene in the last decade with more than 20 local tech startups making it to the World Economic Forum’s top 100 Arabian startups in 2019.
According to H.E Ahmed Al Hanadeh, Jordan’s Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE), the Fund aims to not only support promising tech companies and advance the Kingdom’s technology ecosystem, but to also bring positive growth to its people, country and region.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in Jordan’s economic growth, and reflects our focus on partnering with world’ leading organizations to deliver positive impact and change,” said the minister. “Designed to accelerate the transformation of the digital economy, ADQ will invest, alongside MoDEE, in high-growth technology companies that will help to create, promote, and drive new digital opportunities in Jordan, and reinforce our place on the world technology map.”
Last month, ADQ signed an industrial partnership agreement with Egypt and Jordan, allocating $10 billion in industrial projects to enhance sustainable economic growth in five priority sectors- agriculture, pharma, petrochemicals, minerals and textiles- across the three countries.