NEOM launches investment arm NIF to invest in next-generation startups

NEOM launches investment arm NIF to invest in next-generation startups

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM announced it has launched its investment arm, the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF) in order to support the execution phase of NEOM’s visionary goals, according to a statement.

The investment fund will work in prioritizing the investment process according to NEOM’s strategy of developing 14 main public sectors in Saudi Arabia.

The sectors include Design and construction, Education, Energy, Entertainment and culture, Financial Services, Food, Health and wellbeing, Manufacturing, Media, Mobility, Sport, Technology and digital, Tourism and Water. We have already launched a number of subsidiary companies and that trend will continue, according to its website.

The NEOM came from the Greek word Neo (New) and ‘M’ is the first from ‘Mustaqbal’, an Arabic word meaning ‘future’. The M is also the first letter of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

On the sideline of its inauguration, NIF has announced new investments in companies including in tech and next-generation companies, a step which aligns with the vision. 

The new investments announced are in companies including Regent, Pony.AI, Boom Technology, BlueNalu, and Animoca Brands.

The NIF has invested $100 million in the US-based autonomous driving solutions provider Pony.ai.

In addition, the fund will establish a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and deliver autonomous driving services, advanced vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure in NEOM and key markets in Mena. 

To boost the change, NIF will focus on developing investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in and will directly invest to unlock solutions that will be established and scaled up in NEOM and eventually exported to the world.

NIF has also participated in the Series A round of the US seaglider manufacturer REGENT as part of a multi-year partnership to shape the future of water mobility in the region. 

REGENT will carry out a regional R&D and training hub to support NEOM’s efforts to lead and localize electric seaglider technology.

NIF will build a strategy based on investing globally through mergers and acquisitions and venture capital in technology startups, with a clear focus on growth companies and next-generation industries.  

Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said: “The vision of NEOM is to address global challenges that redefine livability, conservation, and business. As NEOM’s strategic investment subsidiary, 

“NIF will play a critical role in converting NEOM’s vision into reality. NIF will enable NEOM to sustain its contribution to realizing the ambitions of the Kingdom over the long term, cementing its position as a key driver of economic diversification and job creation,” Al-Nasr added.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NEOM Investment Fund, said: “The NIF strategy is designed to align NEOM’s development objectives with those of innovators and institutional investors, de-risking opportunities for them to participate in creating core global growth businesses and a thriving economy in NEOM. 

“To date, NIF has invested in several technology companies within the 14 priority sectors of NEOM that will accelerate technologies critical to the NEOM project and have a major impact on the future of living and sustainability. Replicated over time, this approach will position NEOM as a model for sustainable economic development,” Mufti added.

READ MORE: NEOM Green Hydrogen Company signs facility agreements to build its largest green hydrogen plant

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