Abu Dhabi's AI company G42 to lead Astra Tech's $500m funding round
Dubai-based Astra Tech will use new resources to expand portfolio of smart solutions across various
Abu Dhabi's artificial intelligence and cloud computing company G42 will be the lead investor in the
latest funding round of $500 million for Dubai-based consumer technology development and investment
company Astra Tech.
The funding round, which started in October, will be closing soon, Astra Tech said in a statement on
Monday, without disclosing the exact timetable and details of other investors.
The company, which recently acquired FinTech platform PayBy and Rizek , the UAE-based super app for
on-demand home services, will use the latest funding to acquire other consumer platforms globally.
“Backed by prominent global and regional investors, the round is meant to equip Astra Tech with the
resources to expand its portfolio of smart solutions across e-commerce, communications, FinTech, news
and more,” the company said.
Founded in January, Astra Tech is also building an “ultra platform” that aims to simplify the way people
communicate, shop, pay and transact. The platform will allow businesses and vendors worldwide to
seamlessly connect with customers across a variety of services and products in a single, interconnected
ecosystem, eliminating the complexity of using different apps.
Abdallah Abu Sheikh spoke of aiming for 'something beyond what the super platforms of today have to
offer'. Photo: Astra
“We are continuously seeking to combine exceptional human talent with the necessary technical and
financial resources to enable the development of the most advanced AI powered-solutions for both the
public and private sectors,” said Peng Xiao, group chief executive of G42.
“We are pleased to be supporting Astra Tech with its latest round of funding, one that will establish it as
the go-to regional platform for consumer technology and services."
The start-up ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa region has received a strong boost in recent
years as entrepreneurs tap into innovation to address consumer needs.
Funding for start-ups in the UAE — one of the top destinations for venture capital investments in the
Mena region — rose by about 5 per cent in the third quarter to $148 million, according to data platform
Earlier this month, the Emirates also launched a new programme aimed at supporting and honouring
the top 100 start-ups that will have a significant impact on the country's economy and boost its
readiness for the future.
The Future 100 initiative will support new economic sectors such as space, renewable energy and
emerging technology, which will shape the country's future economy, the Ministry of Economy and the
Ministry of Governmental Development and Future said at its launch.
“Our disruptive next generation ultra platform will bring together selected consumer technologies,
products, and services and is specifically designed to address the platform fatigue many users are
experiencing today,” said Abdallah Abu Sheikh, founder and chief executive of Astra Tech.
“We continuously seek to align with the national drive for digital transformation by delivering an
innovative and revolutionary ecosystem, something beyond what the super platforms of today have to
offer,” said Mr Abu Sheikh. The Jordanian entrepreneur is also the founder of other start-ups such as
Rizek and Bark EV, an electric vehicle company.
A super platform is an ecosystem of many apps that are either built together or bundled through third-
party integrations. They usually work with freelancers and small and medium enterprise service
providers to improve their skills and help them land more opportunities.
Astra Tech's ultra platform intends to provide connectivity between consumers and businesses, enabling
users to access home, e-commerce and FinTech services within one place, three times faster than
through competing platforms, the company said.
Source: The National