Today (Tuesday), Israeli VC investment platform OurCrowd announced the signing of an MOU with Phoenix, an Emirati business development company. The newly established agreement aims to rapidly increase tech collaboration and business ties between the UAE and Israel.

This agreement between two of the countries’ biggest movers and shakers comes in light of the recently signed ‘Abraham Accords’, which helped normalize trade, collaboration, and investment between the two Middle Eastern powerhouses.

'Abraham Accords' are a win-win for both sides

Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur and ‘all-around’ good guy Jon Medved, OurCrowd will leverage its proven 220 company portfolio and $1.5 billion in committed funds, to scout and support UAE-based startups looking to get a little of that Israeli growth and development magic. OurCrowd will serve as a bridging platform for startup innovation collaboration between the two ecosystems. This lead to OurCrowd’s second announcement of the day with the appointment of Dr. Sabah al-Binali as the Head of the Gulf Region of OurCrowd.

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said: “OurCrowd is pleased to associate itself with Al Naboodah, a leading and well-regarded business group in the UAE. The signing of OurCrowd’s first MOU in the UAE less than a month after formal normalization between the UAE and Israel shows our deep commitment to building relationships, and growing business in the UAE and beyond.”

Dr. al-Binali is a seasoned financial services executive with 22 years of experience in investments and an entrepreneurial leader with a track record of financing, building and exiting companies in the MENA region. He was instrumental in facilitating the sale to Credit Suisse of a Saudi investment bank and the acquisition of the Zawya news agency by Thomson Reuters.

Abdullah S. Al Naboodah (Left), chairman of Al Naboodah Investments in Dubai, and Jon Medved (Right), CEO of OurCrowd in Jerusalem credit: OurCrowd

On the Emirati side Phoenix, headed by Abdullah S Al Naboodah, Chairman of Al Naboodah Investments LLC, will serve as an investment platform for individuals and family offices located in the Gulf seeking opportunities to invest in the Israeli tech ecosystem. Phoenix will enable investors to access OurCrowd’s vast array of tech investment opportunities across a variety of sectors including AgriTech, EdTech, HealthTech, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and more. Phoenix will also introduce OurCrowd to Gulf-based startups with the aim of raising investment through OurCrowd’s platform. Leveraging its cross-industry reach, Phoenix will also assist Israeli-based startups with potential partners in the Gulf region.

Phoenix Chairman Abdullah S Al Naboodah said: “Phoenix will be a bridge, a two-way conduit for both Israeli and UAE investors, as well as startups seeking strategic, business and investment partners in these powerhouse tech nations. This first of its kind major alliance will pave the way for the rapid expansion of business between our two countries.”