Annex Investments offers multi-faceted support to bring ‘new businesses to life’

Annex Investments offers multi-faceted support to bring ‘new businesses to life’ 

By: Mark Anthony Karam
Interviews

Annex Investments has notably invested in ventures such as Alma Health and is founding eMajlis as a venture lead. 

Investor, accelerator, disruptor, and much more. 

Annex Investments is a privately-held investment management firm that owns and operates a number of subsidiaries as well as representing international corporations.

Annex Investments was established with the goal of bringing new enterprises to life by forming strategic alliances with creators and investing in their projects to facilitate their access to market, streamlining and disrupting industries.

Annex Investments has helped SMEs in the region throughout the years by offering active mentorship and acceleration programs. It offers founders strategic counselling, consulting, and technical services ranging from website and application development to marketing and beyond.

Annex Investments offerings for SMEs

Ventures Central & Lyans Creative

Ventures Central and Lyans Creative represent the management consulting arm of Annex Investments Group that is specialized in technology, branding, marketing, and events management. This strategic business unit assists organizations of all sizes to transform their entrepreneurial ideas into efficient and profitable brands.

The firm provides a range of services including UI/UX & App Development, Branding, Web Development, Social Media Management, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Advertising, Animation & Motion Graphics, and other bespoke IT solutions with the objective of upgrading the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations.

You can learn more about Ventures Central’s services here. or get in touch here info@venturescentral.ae, wazil@venturescentral.ae.

Annex Investments venture portfolio

Annex Investments has made notable investments in companies such as Alma Health, a startup aiming to become the leading digital healthcare company for chronic condition management by harnessing technology to transform lives. Annex Investments is also a venture lead in the formation of eMajlis, an innovative application in the UAE aiming to transform professional networking with the use of advanced technology. Annex Investments analyses the potentials of a venture, measures feasibility and assists in growth.

“[Next year is poised to] to be the most successful year for the UAE’s SME ecosystem”

The Abu Dhabi SME Hub spoke with Ahmed Nasser Al Nowais, CEO, and Kareem Anabtawi, CIO, Annex Investments to learn more about their work in the region, as well as their take on the state of Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ahmed Nasser Al Nowais, CEO (left) and Kareem Anabtawi, CIO (right)

Where does the AD Startup/SME ecosystem stand today? In your opinion, what are the benefits and challenges for startups and SMEs doing business in Abu Dhabi?

Kareem: The Abu Dhabi startup and SME ecosystem is blooming currently. We are seeing much more frequent and sizeable fundraising rounds and exits, with many more innovative ideas arising at much a higher and successful frequency. 

We hope to see more startups in the region look toward the future and consider public listings within the region, in order to maintain the technology sector’s ownership within the region. 

This is a result of the government’s push to support this ecosystem through initiatives to empower disruptive innovators to spur the ecosystem. 

The UAE is now ushering in a new era where it will become the technological hub of the region, which will allow it to support the rest of MENA when homegrown startups branch out and expand into neighbouring territories.

How are you contributing to the local startup/SME ecosystem growth? How do you see this evolving over the next year? 

Ahmed: Annex Investments serves the ecosystem as a venture builder, but wears several different hats. We provide A-Z services starting at developing apps/websites, marketing them, providing angel investments, fundraising through our network, connecting founders to strategic partners, and much more. 

We hope to support disruption as well as facilitate and accelerate the growth of this sector through our network & experience as one of the earliest adopters. 

With the support of Expo 2020, [next year is poised to] to be the most successful year for the UAE’s startup/SME ecosystem with a world of opportunity now at the [nation’s] fingertips. 

There will be a lot more access to funds/investment in order to provide the liquidity required to fund the kind of disruption the UAE plans to encourage. Expo 2020 will also provide startups with opportunities for global integration, connecting and working with an influx of international businesses during the event.

What opportunities should entrepreneurs pay attention to in Abu Dhabi? What kind of business growth opportunities are you encouraging or expect will be developing in the coming years?

Ahmed: Entrepreneurs should keep an eye out on government initiatives supporting the ecosystem as well as the gaps and opportunities still prevalent in the region. 

We at Annex Investments are keeping our eye out on industry-shifting startups, change-makers that are aiming to increase efficiency amongst different sectors. We are hoping to encourage a more seamless and productive market for MENA as a whole. 

Abu Dhabi is the hub of this innovation, but we are looking & encouraging the entrepreneurs who are thinking beyond disruption just in the UAE, but across MENA, or even the world.

Technology’s aim is to make people’s lives easier, and considering entrepreneurs bring us these simplifications, we have made it our obligation to encourage and enable them. 

We want entrepreneurs to believe, as well as understand, that we are building an ecosystem to support and find the region’s versions of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk.

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