Banking & Finance UAE investment firm launches $100m debt fund By Andy Sambidge November 29, 2022 GII Mohammed Al Hassan and Pankaj Gupta, co-CEOs of Gulf Islamic Investments Gulf Islamic Investments, the UAE-based shari’ah-compliant global alternative investment company, is launching a $100 million debt fund. The new fund, known as GDF-I, will focus on supporting high growth companies in resilient sectors such as consumer, healthcare, education, logistics and technology in the GCC region. It will also target high growth Indian companies looking to expand in the GCC and internationally. The launch comes after total venture capital funding activity reached a record level of $2.6 billion in the Gulf region last year. Younger Arabs invest in equity markets, tech and Islamic financeMena investment banking fees surge past $1bn for year so far The UAE and Saudi Arabia led the way with major reforms and policy innovations presenting growth opportunities for homegrown and international businesses. Globally, venture debt is seen as an important asset class for high growth companies to support expansion between two equity raises. Companies typically use the capital for team building, working capital and capex investments. In the US, the venture debt industry represents up to 20 percent of venture long-term capital investments but, according to Gulf Islamic Investments, the market is under-penetrated in the GCC and India. Mohammed Al Hassan, co-founder and co-CEO of Gulf Islamic Investments, said: “We actively seek companies that are backed by established venture capital investors and work with these companies to provide venture debt and build the business. “This presents a new opportunity for our investors to diversify in different high growth asset classes with attractive returns.” Pankaj Gupta, also co-founder and co-CEO, added: “One of our principles is to provide diverse opportunities and GDF-I truly reflects that as it provides income and growth to our investors by supporting high growth companies reaching next stage.” With over $3 billion of assets under management, Gulf Islamic Investments has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt and London.