‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ launched to promote sustainability and inclusivity

CAIRO: Venture capital investments in the region have surged, with deep tech startups capturing a significant portion of the activity.

Web3 applications, blockchain, and ventures focusing on carbon control have secured substantial funding, reinforcing the region’s role as a driver of innovation and change.

UAE-based digital assets infrastructure provider Fuze has announced a successful seed funding round, securing $14 million.

The investment was spearheaded by Abu Dhabi’s Further Ventures and saw participation from US firm Liberty City Ventures.

Founded in 2022 by Mohammed Yusuf, Arpit Mehta, and Srijan Shetty, Fuze offers a platform that enables financial institutions, fintech startups, and traditional enterprises to integrate regulated digital asset products into their native applications.

“We are excited to build the future of regulated financial infrastructure and digital assets out of the UAE,” Yusuf said.

“Regulations have played a pivotal role in propelling the UAE into a central position within the global Digital Assets industry. To receive the backing of Abu Dhabi-headquartered Further Ventures combined with the deep expertise of US-based Liberty City Ventures, confirms the relevancy and potential of Fuze’s mission to rapidly expand our cutting-edge infrastructure across the region,” he added.

With this fresh capital in hand, Fuze is poised to further its expansion goals, enhance its technological offerings, and recruit new talent to its team.

The company claims to be the first-of-its-kind infrastructure provider to offer regulated digital asset products to its customers in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“We are building a suite of products that addresses the growing demand for regulated digital asset capabilities through trusted channels. Our technology-first approach is a game-changer for the region and offers our customers a reliable bridge to the new era of investments and to the future of finance,” Yusuf added.

Dubai’s Cultos Global secures investment for Web3 innovations

Dubai’s Web3 innovator Cultos Global has garnered an undisclosed sum in its recent funding round.

Among the notable contributors were Sameer Mehta of Boat, Tarun Katial of Coto, Ashwath Bhat from Fractal Analytics, and Vijay Ratnaparkhe of Bosch Southeast Asia, the latter of whom will now contribute as part of the company’s advisory panel.

The influx of funds is earmarked to bolster Cultos Global’s product and engineering divisions in both the UAE and India. 

We’re thrilled to welcome his highness Sheikh Ahmed not only as an investor but also as our chairman.

Martin Reynolds, CEO of Zero Carbon Ventures

“Cultos Global is revolutionizing brand-customer engagement with a sophisticated, unified platform that seamlessly combines digital marketing and customer rewards programs. This transforms passive consumers into an active network of nano-influencers,” Adib Samara, the company’s co-founder, said.

The company enables brands to devise and implement their brand token and rewards strategies, ensuring a more organic acceptance which fuels operational efficiency, a surge in conversion ratios, and a tangible uptick in sales, as per the press release.

“Cultos Global is excited to have industry leaders on board as we scale up our mission to offer brands the capability to bring their rewards, loyalty, and influencer marketing to Web3,” CEO Pavan Govindan, said.

“This grants brands access to first-party data with advanced security and enhanced privacy for consumers. With strategic investors supporting our vision, we are more confident than ever in establishing Cultos Global as the preferred Web3 wallet for major global brands,” he added.

Zero Carbon secures $5m from Dubai ruling family

Zero Carbon Ventures, a cleantech startup based in the UAE, has successfully secured a seed funding round of $5 million.

The investment comes from Sheikh Ahmed Mana Khalifa Al-Maktoum, an Emirati businessman and a member of Dubai’s ruling family.

In addition to the financial boost, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum will also lend his expertise as a strategic adviser and take over the role of chairman of the board.

Co-founded by Peter Jodlowski and Martin Reynolds in 2022, Zero Carbon Ventures is steadfast in its commitment to champion carbon-reduction technologies across the MENA region.

“I initially met Martin and the Zero Carbon team in April this year, and fell in love with their vision,” Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum said.

“The world now needs people like them to actually get to work on the delivery of these kinds of projects. I hired Zero Carbon to begin work on decarbonizing my own Dubai real estate portfolio. I see immense potential in Zero Carbon, and I am eager to guide and do my part in this pivotal journey toward net-zero,” he added

The company’s approach is structured around four central pillars: waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency, and sustainable materials.

The fresh infusion of capital is set to catalyze Zero Carbon’s sustainable endeavors, particularly in the lead-up to COP28.

The global climate summit will be hosted by the UAE later this year, and Zero Carbon Ventures is gearing up to play a significant role in steering sustainable development conversations during the event.

“We’re thrilled to welcome his highness Sheikh Ahmed not only as an investor but also as our chairman,” Reynolds said.

“His involvement is more than an endorsement; it’s a powerful union of vision and purpose. Our ambition has always been to enact tangible change. Our fully established and experienced senior management team, with his Highness by our side, is incredibly well-positioned to drive our sustainability initiatives even further,” he added.

Jordan’s DigiZag secures seven-figure series A funding round

DigiZag, a digital advertising and performance marketing startup headquartered in Jordan, has successfully closed a seven-figure series A funding round.

The substantial investment comes from the SME Investment Fund, which is managed by Al-Arabi Investment Group.

Established in 2015 by Saif Atout, DigiZag offers a suite of technology-driven solutions in performance-based marketing.

These solutions help companies and institutions optimize their advertising campaigns, in order to drive revenue growth and sales.

With the capital, DigiZag is poised to further strengthen its market position and enhance its digital footprint in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, signaling a promising growth trajectory for the startup.

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