In September 2020 the United Arab Emirates and Israel signed the Abraham Accord, effectively normalizing ties between the two states. The accord is just the first step paving the way for regional harmony, collaboration and growth creating consequent business opportunities, and has resulted in justifiable optimism and excitement within the business communities in each country.
The normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel goes a long way to meeting the UAE government’s objective as part of their ‘Vision 2021’ strategy to become one of the leading countries globally in which to live and conduct business. The strategy covers many business sectors including, oil and gas, wholesale and retail, hospitality and tourism, science and technology, all of which have the opportunity to take advantage of the technology rich Israeli economy.
Within days of the signing of the Abraham Accord, Israeli venture capitalist firm Maniv Mobility and Fenix Scooters (UAE) announced an historical ‘first’ with Maniv selecting Fenix as its first direct investment into the UAE economy by way of a $3.8 million Seed investment.
Fenix Scooters, a micromobility operator, founded earlier this year by former executives of Careem – Jaideep Dhanoa and IQ Sayed, who had also co-founded European and Middle East micromobility startup Circ in 2019 before it was acquired by US micromobility giant Bird.
Fenix CEO, Jaideep Dhanoa said “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 Mobility “rockstars” from both an investing and entrepreneurial perspective. We hope that this first investment is just the beginning of a mutual and innovation-focused relationship.”
About CBD, Jaideep said “This investment opportunity would not have been possible without the professional and entrepreneur-friendly support CBD provided Fenix when establishing our business in the GCC. CBD made a complex process easy, while retaining a structure that meets professional venture investor requirements.”
The highlights of this transaction include:
- The first investment from an Israel VC into a UAE based tech company, a historic milestone for the region and the development of the Middle East tech ecosystem;
- The largest pre-launch venture tech investment in UAE history;
- A starting fleet of electric vehicles that is already the largest in the Middle East;
- A world-first micromobility vehicle with an integrated hand sanitization module providing full comfort for a COVID-19 free rider experience.
Following the success of Fenix’s investment round with Maniv Mobility and in order to complement its current service offering, CBD has joined forces with LA Global Consulting (LAGC), a Tel Aviv-based consultancy which advises Israeli and overseas companies and investors on cross-border transactions, to offer a full range of market entry-related services.
Together, CBD and LAGC - two industry leading companies who specialize in assisting foreign and local commercial entities to enter their respective territories - have joined forces to offer secure corporate solutions paving the way for further Foreign Direct Investment between the two states.
Founder and CEO of LAGC, Anita Leviant, commented, “Since our first meeting with CBD, we realised that we were dealing with a very professional organization who matched our own high and uncompromising standards of service delivery. Together, with CBD we aim to provide bespoke, customized business solutions that enable investors to quickly cope with the regulatory requirements and other considerations for a successful business whether they are in Israel or the UAE.”
With many multinational and domestic enterprises listed as the clients of CBD and LAGC, both companies look forward to working together on the new opportunities that the peace accords have created for business development.