Three leading technology companies are growing their presence in Abu Dhabi, as the emirate doubles down on its focus to support the growth of innovation-focused companies. The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) announced today individual partnerships with Callsign, Lyve and RIZEK to provide the three companies financial and non-financial incentives as part of its AED 2 billion (USD 545 million) Innovation Programme.
The partnerships further expand Abu Dhabi’s thriving information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystem, which has seen a significant boost in 2021, with a raft of new entrants to the emirate. With ADIO’s support, technology leaders Anghami, Bespin Global and STARZPLAY Arabia each established new headquarters in Abu Dhabi, while Amazon Web Services (AWS) will soon launch a cloud infrastructure region in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In total, ADIO has provided more than AED 865 million (USD 235 million) of support to seven ICT companies this year to help them innovate.
H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said: “Abu Dhabi’s ICT sector is rapidly advancing with the arrival and expansion of ambitious companies like Callsign, Lyve and RIZEK. We are now seeing companies from all over the world pioneering new technologies in Abu Dhabi, as the emirate emerges as a leading advanced technology hub, and the region’s HQ of tech HQs. Abu Dhabi is a long-term partner to businesses aligned with our strategic focus and we are here to help companies fast-track their progress, while ensuring they are suitably equipped to grow sustainably and make a real impact on the global stage.”
As part of the Innovation Programme, ADIO has awarded Callsign, Lyve and RIZEK competitive financial incentives, including rebates on highly skilled payroll and high-tech CAPEX, as well as non-financial incentives, such as support with establishment processes and ecosystem engagement.
Partnerships with Callsign, Lyve and RIZEK
Callsign is a company headquartered in London, that has introduced a pioneering approach to re-establishing digital trust. Callsign’s unique intelligence-driven authentication positively identifies users, delivering safety and minimal friction for genuine users, while ensuring that bad actors are blocked. This is being used to underpin digital trust across financial institutions, governments and commerce globally.
The company has invested in building a world-class centre of technical excellence in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, the emirate’s global tech ecosystem, to fuel innovation and growth in the digital identity and security industry. Its engineering facility attracts and retains high-skilled talent, having grown its Abu Dhabi team to 45 employees in the last six months, with plans to expand to more than 100 employees by year-end. Callsign’s rapid expansion supports its mission to establish the region as a global hub for digital identity expertise.
Dr. Zia Hayat, CEO and Chairman of Callsign, said: “The leadership of the UAE has shown immense foresight and vision to establish ADIO, and as a result Abu Dhabi as a global technical HQ. This was pivotal in our decision to scale up our primary hub outside of the UK, in the UAE. We are building two centres of excellence here. The centre of technical excellence employs highly skilled local talent utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence to lead innovation in the space of digital trust globally. Our operations centre of excellence, which is spearheaded by our world-class Security Operations Centre, will in combination with our technical centre attract and retain over 1,000 employees in the coming years. To underline our commitment to the ADIO partnership, we are relocating senior management and hiring the best local talent to continue the development and scaling of our operations.”
Lyve is a global logistics solutions and technology company founded in the UAE, with a presence in 12 countries worldwide. It connects businesses with their partners and customers through patented cloud-based logistics platforms and digital transformation innovations, facilitating millions of orders every month. The company will be establishing its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, along with the relocation of various management roles and its technology team. Already one of the fastest growing last-mile delivery platform companies, Lyve will continue to enhance its ecosystem of digital products from Abu Dhabi to be a one-stop shop for businesses, as it seeks to digitise the global last-mile landscape.
Hassan Hallas, CEO and Co-founder of Lyve, said: "We are honoured to have been granted the opportunity to scale our business during the most exciting and promising time in digital transformation. ADIO's investments and faith in our vision will become a landmark on our path to innovation. Through the growth of our R&D department, we look forward to developing new disruptive tech solutions that will have an outsized impact on both the regional and global last-mile delivery and ecommerce industries."
RIZEK is a homegrown online platform that connects users to a variety of service providers, allowing its user base easy access to services in healthcare, beauty, cleaning, maintenance, and many other segments at the time and location of their choosing. The company was the first local platform to introduce home polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and the first platform in the world to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines at home. It has experienced exponential growth since its inception just under a year ago, recording an increase of 800% in revenue and a 700% increase in customer base. ADIO’s partnership will aid RIZEK in its continued growth as the company expands into new markets, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and develops more segments to broaden its range of services.
Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder and CEO of RIZEK, said: “Our partnership with ADIO will aid us in achieving what we promised ourselves and our community to achieve, and will further emphasise the impact our presence has made since our inception, as well as the efforts we will continue to make to elevate on-demand services in the UAE - and the region as a whole - to new heights.”
ADIO’s Innovation Programme was established under Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s three-year accelerator programme, which is concluding at the end of 2021 having made significant progress in driving the development of the emirate’s knowledge economy.