Israel’s most active VC investor, OurCrowd, announced a new partnership with Phoenix, an Emirati business development company, to increase business and tech ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
The two organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding, marking the first announced alliance between a top-ranking UAE corporation and a major Israeli venture firm. It comes weeks after Israel and the UAE signed a historic normalization agreement that opens the door for formal, open ties across diplomatic and business sectors.
As part of the agreement, OurCrowd will identify and support UAE-based startups seeking growth and development in Israel, and leverage its portfolio to enhance business development for UAE startups seeking to collaborate on innovative solutions.
Phoenix, headed by Abdullah S. Al Naboodah, chairman of Al Naboodah Investments, will serve as an investment platform for Gulf-based individuals and family offices seeking opportunities to invest in the Israeli tech ecosystem. The group will serve as a bridge between OurCrowd and Gulf-based startups with the aim of raising investment through OurCrowd’s platform, and will assist Israel-based startups with potential partners in the Gulf region.
“Phoenix will be a bridge, a two-way conduit for both Israeli and UAE investors, as well as startups seeking strategic, business and investment partners in these powerhouse tech nations. This first-of-its-kind major alliance will pave the way for the rapid expansion of business between our two countries,” said Al Naboodah, who manages several subsidiary companies and investments in different global funds in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, the UK, and the US.
To fuel its UAE expansion, OurCrowd appointed Sabah al-Binali, a financial services executive with 22 years of experience in investments in the MENA region, as a venture partner and head of the Gulf region for the Israeli VC firm.
“OurCrowd’s global platform provides a perfect meeting point for startups, entrepreneurs, and investors from the vibrant tech ecosystems in Israel and the UAE,” said al-Binali in a press statement shared by OurCrowd.
“Dr. al-Binali brings incredible energy and skills to our growing business,” said OurCrowd founder Jon Medved. “He will effectively build bridges between the tech and financial communities in the UAE and Israel.”
Both al-Binali and Al Naboodah will speak next week at an OurCrowd and Emirates Angels’ online event called “UAE Tech Investment Landscape: Introduction for the Israeli Ecosystem.”
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.