Sharjah-headquartered diversified holding company Crescent Enterprises has announced the launch of its new corporate venture capital division with plans to invest up to US$150 million (AED548 million) over the next three years. The announcement was made at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SharjahEF), organised by the Sharjah entrepreneurship centre, Sheraa, this week. According to the company CEO Badr Jafar, Crescent Enterprises has invested in a new business every month for the last six months and the new division is a move to formalise the structure of its venture capital investments.
The new venture capital division of Crescent Enterprises will focus on strategic direct investments in early to later-stage start-ups and is sector-agnostic, although half of the funds will be dedicated to investing in ventures from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Recent investments by the company include a Silicon Valley-based drone company, a robotic surgery technology venture and an e-commerce platform for fisheries in India. Crescent also recently provided seed capital to graduates from the American University of Sharjah to develop a project management system using artificial intelligence (AI).
Over the years, Crescent Enterprises has made strategic investments in funds managed by the Abraaj Group, Growthgate Capital, Wamda Capital and TVM Healthcare. Crescent Enterprises established CE-Ventures in 2014, as an internal incubator to develop start-ups that generate a sustainable social impact. The incubator conceives and develops businesses across a wide range of industry sectors and has already launched two businesses so far.
Earlier this year, Crescent Enterprises formed a partnership with Sheraa to create joint initiatives that will harness the potential of young entrepreneurs to generate positive social impact through economically viable and scalable startups. The first initiative of the partnership is a two-year pilot programme consisting of 10 mentoring events for young entrepreneurs and three social enterprise challenges that encourage students to collaborate on developing innovative applications for social good.
Crescent Enterprises has interests in business aviation, business incubation, power and engineering, healthcare, private equity, and ports and logistics. The company employs more than 4,500 people in 22 countries across five continents, via its 20 subsidiary and affiliate companies.
Source: Crescent Enterprises