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Why London-Dubai tech tie-up hits investment ‘sweet spot’

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As a club for VCs and investors, it makes sense to extend our community to Dubai, says Konstanin Sidorov (right), LTC founder and business investor

The London Technology Club (LTC), a community in Europe for investment opportunities in the technology sector, has announced the launch of LTC Dubai, its first international investment hub.

The hub is supported by Global Ventures, the international venture capital firm focused on investing in emerging market founders.

Konstantin Sidorov, founder, CEO and general partner of London Technology Club, told AGBI that Dubai was the obvious choice for its expansion.

“Dubai has a real buzz at the moment because of the level of ambition and energy from entrepreneurs there, and the region is proving itself as a first-class destination for tech investment.

“It is also a part of the world that continues to attract and nurture smart investors who regard it as the ideal place to settle with their businesses and families,” he said.

He added that LTC Dubai will provide members with a forum to access multiple direct co-investment opportunities and venture funds focused on high-growth tech companies from around the world. Members will also have access to events and networking opportunities that feature a top list of entrepreneurs and investors.

LTC, launched in 2018 as a community of club members, VCs, technology experts and institutional investors, has a strong track record of targeted investments.

It lists Revolut, Klarna and ATAI Life Sciences amongst its members’ direct investment portfolio as well as funds led by White Star Capital, Clear Ventures, Blisce and Artis Ventures.

“Many of our existing members have been spending much more time in Dubai and so the city became a natural first step for our international offering. It is a hub of global connectivity, located where East meets West, and that is perfectly suited to attracting internationally-minded tech investors and world-class deal flow. 

“As a club that brings together VCs and investors – particularly high net worth individuals – it made strategic sense to extend our offering and community here,” added Sidorov, who was one of the early investors in Spotify.

He’s in no doubt about why London and Dubai make strong partner cities from an investment perspective.

“Both London and Dubai attract significant amounts of international investment, are committed to promoting the tech sector and celebrate entrepreneurial zeal.

“Both cities have lots to offer the other. While Dubai is a central hub and gateway to the rest of the world, London’s rich history and heritage has been attracting businesses for hundreds of years. Plus, many international business leaders and private investors spend equal amounts of time in both cities throughout the year,” he added.

So what is the plan for LTC Dubai in terms of events and the partnership with UAE-based Global Ventures which also has a presence in Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Tunis and Lagos?

Sidorov said: “Our offering in Dubai hits the sweet spot of access to investment opportunities, networking and thought-leadership. At our events we present members with tech investment opportunities and share ideas about the future of the tech sector and the investment themes that weave throughout it.

“We provide our members with access to investment opportunities across mobility, AI, fintech, cyber security, deeptech, biotech, foodtech and impact investment. Our partnership with Global Ventures complements our existing expertise in the region and bolsters our local network which provides added value for our members.”

The company has already held three events in Dubai including a reception and discussion with LTC Member Cohesion Investments which includes Madhu Kela, one of the most successful investors in Indian capital markets, with more events planned for Dubai and Abu Dhabi later this year.

Sidorov said the hub will also benefit  from LTC’s advisory board which includes the likes of Jim Mellon, investor, founder of the Burnbrae Group, co-founder and chairman of Juvenescence, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman emeritus and former chairman and CEO of the Nestlé Group and Martin Gilbert, chairman of Revolut, AssetCo and Toscafund and co-founder and former CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management.

Networking at The London Technology Club, now heading for Dubai

LTC also recently announced the launch of its third fund in three years aimed at scale-up tech companies – particularly in the AI, fintech and mobility sectors.

The fund offers access to multiple direct co-investment opportunities and leading venture funds. It is targeting a capacity of $40 million+ that will be deployed across 20–25 investments over a one-year period with a focus on high growth tech companies in the US, UK, Europe and MENA geographies.

In March, LTC announced its first exit facilitated by its LTC Pledge Fund II., the cloud platform for large enterprises and service providers, was acquired by Rakuten Symphony, the telco-focused arm of Japan’s Rakuten Group, generating around 50 percent return in just eight months.

LTC’s first fund, Pledge Fund I, returned 30 percent of capital back to investors within less than two years.

Sidorov added: “The technology revolution of the 21st century has positively transformed the way we do business, shop, travel and receive healthcare, but for this rate of innovation to continue we must ensure that tech enterprises are backed with the growth capital they require.

“Our third fund will channel investment into the leading tech companies of tomorrow to enable them to reach their potential. The growth will generate long-term returns to investors, employment opportunities for the next generation, and the benefits of innovation to consumers, businesses and the community.”