Every week we’re listing the most important bits and bites you shouldn’t have missed.
Will.i.am, MAF planning to build ‘a tech company the size of Amazon’
Grammy-winning music producer Will.i.am is convinced Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) group could become a company the size of tech giant Amazon.
On Twitter, the musician-turned-technologist posted a message on MAF’s account saying, “If you thought MAF was not a tech company the size of Amazon, think again. Let’s go.”
“With this company, I started my idea was to create a conversational AI for humanity. Not mimic the business models of today’s giants but provide something that would enrich people’s lives,” he said in a conversation with Arabian Business at the World Government Summit yesterday.
UAE gets self-driving cars in the fast lane
The UAE continues to lead the region and remains among the world’s top 10 countries that are best prepared for driverless vehicles, thanks to its world-class road infrastructure, the change readiness of its technology infrastructure, government’s readiness and strong acceptance by the consumers.
According to the KPMG’s 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, the UAE slipped one place to 9 as compared to last year’s ranking but was placed ahead of many developed countries like Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, France, South Korea, China and Spain among others.
watch our video to understand how self driving cars will change the world:
Mubadala’s venture capital unit to launch $400m European fund
Mubadala Ventures, the venture capital arm of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala Investment Company, plans to launch a $400m European fund this year to focus on the technology sector, a company executive said on Wednesday.
The venture capital unit is also working with international venture capital funds to invest in Abu Dhabi, Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures, told reporters at a conference in the Emirate.
Riyadh-based MENA venture capital fund Saudi Technology Ventures (STV) led approximately $250m worth of funding rounds in 2018, accounting for almost 30% of the estimated $893m deployed in the region’s venture capital last year.
In its first year of operation, it deployed around $100m of its $500m fund, and assessed over 500 opportunities, building a portfolio of regional technology start-ups covering digital media, ride-hailing, e-healthcare and cloud communications.
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