in5 Ignites Innovation: Dubai's Incubator Sees Explosive Growth, Raises AED 3 Billion in Funding
Mokshita P.
What's the Deal

in5 Ignites Innovation: Dubai's Incubator Sees Explosive Growth, Raises AED 3 Billion in Funding

TECOM Group's in5, based in Dubai, showcases a raise in funding, reaching AED 3 billion in 2023, reflecting growing interest in the city's start-ups and the success of government strategies to boost innovation.

In a testament to Dubai’s entrepreneurial landscape and investor confidence, TECOM Group PJSC's incubator, in5, has revealed a remarkable 25 percent increase in funding for start-ups in 2023, reaching a total of AED 3 billion since its inception.

This growth was announced during the Step Conference 2024 held in Dubai on February 21-22, in partnership with Dubai Internet City. The surge in funding highlights the escalating interest in homegrown enterprises within the city, fuelled by government initiatives to position Dubai as a global innovation capital conducive to high-potential businesses.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President at TECOM Group PJSC, representing in5, emphasised the important role of start-ups in solving challenges for sustainable growth, stating, “Start-ups are the inherent problem-solvers we need to unlock sustainable growth for our future generations.”

In 2023, in5 witnessed substantial growth, with the number of start-ups incubated reaching almost 900 since its establishment. The incubator's commitment to nurturing a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is evident in its four dedicated verticals catering to the technology, media, design, and science sectors.

The technology sector, represented by in5 Tech at Dubai Internet City, experienced a 13 percent annual increase in active start-ups, reaching 270 in 2023. Additionally, in5 Media and in5 Design, with innovation centres at Dubai Production City and Dubai Design District, respectively, continued to support entrepreneurs throughout the year.

In collaboration with Dubai Science Park, in5 marked its 10th anniversary in June 2023 by launching a science-focused vertical, in5 Science, to facilitate entrepreneurship and investment for science-based start-ups. This initiative aligns with Dubai's economic agendas, including 'D33', the Road to Net Zero by 2050, We the UAE 2031, and National Food Security Strategy.

At the Step Conference 2024, in5 showcased ten of its most innovative enterprises, including BitAffix, ReflowX, Writefully, Arabiatee, and Estaie. The incubator, known for cross-disciplinary collaboration, is currently hosting start-ups from Luxembourg and Poland following recent memorandums of understanding with the respective trade and investment agencies.

In5 also serves as the Execution Partner for Dubai Holding’s 'Innovate for Tomorrow' challenge, addressing sustainability challenges in the UAE. Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer at Dubai Holding, emphasised the commitment to sustainability and the partnership with in5 to nurture a better future by attracting global innovators.

The Innovate for Tomorrow challenge offers comprehensive awards, including access to in5’s supportive environment, resources, mentorship pathways, and a nominal cash prize for the winner and runner-up. The winner will have an exclusive opportunity to implement their solution through a four-month pilot program at Dubai Holding. Applications are open until March 31.

Founded in 2013, in5’s success stories include Tabby, recently achieving unicorn status; Detectiome, launching the AI-powered multicancer early detection test ‘Revonco’; and regional music streaming giant Anghami.

TECOM Group has played a role in Dubai’s economic ambitions for over two decades through sector-focused districts and innovative business solutions, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Design District, and Dubai Industrial City.