Today (Wednesday), Israeli venture capitalist firm Maniv Mobility announced another historical ‘first’ with a $3.8 million investment in an Abu Dhabi, UAE-based startup. Marking yet another ‘Abraham Accords’ victory since the normalization between the two countries in September.
“They approached us just a few days after the announcement”
The mobility-focused VC fund’s first investment in the Emirati micro-mobility startup, Fenix, was as part of their Seed round. The startup provides a MaaS eScooter renting platform, and now with the cat out of the bag on the investment is coming out of stealth mode.
The startup will focus initially on their local market while planning a rapid expansion, over the next few months, through the UAE and the rest of the gulf region. We learned from the companies that Fenix is entering the market with the largest eScooter fleet in the Emirates.
Managing Partner Michael Granoff explained in a conversation with Geektime that Maniv invests in startups from around the world: According to Granoff, Fenix was the first company from the UAE to approach the fund: “A few days after the Abraham Accords announcement,” Granoff flew to Dubai to meet with the startup’s CEO, which eventually led to the investment.
Granoff tells that he was impressed with the CEO’s vision for his startup, and a couple of weeks after the meeting, the fund realized that now is the time during the eScooter boom to penetrate the gulf region’s very fruitful markets.
Fenix CEO Jaideep Dhanoa responded regarding the Israeli investment that “in light of the new friendship that has blossomed since the normalization between Israel and the UAE, we had the privilege to work with the Maniv team, which include some of the Mobility rockstars from both the investing and entrepreneurial perspectives. We hope that this first investment is just the beginning of a mutual and innovation-focused relationship.