C5’s Bahrain-based ‘cloud fund’ for the Middle East and Africa plans to invest $2.5 million in GCC-based digital recruitment platform OneGCC.
According to the company, this is its first investment through its cloud fund following the launch of its Cloud 10 technology accelerator programme or ‘Scalerator’ powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
C5 is a London, Luxembourg, Washington DC and Bahrain-based specialist technology investment firm focusing on cybersecurity, cloud and Big Data analytics.
OneGCC, according to C5, is a platform that supports the nationalisation of GCC jobs and one of the first intake of companies to graduate the Cloud 10 programme.
The $2.5 million investment is based on an overall valuation of $10 million.
Cloud 10 is aimed at helping budding technology firms in the fields of cybersecurity, FinTech, MedTech, EnergyTech and more, to ‘scale-up’ their businesses using the Amazon cloud.
Hadyah Fathalla, executive director, C5, said, “OneGCC is one of a number of high quality, disruptive, young tech companies from the GCC region to come through the Cloud 10 programme. In line with our investment strategy we are investing in OneGCC because of the regional trend to employ GCC nationals and its unique and fast growing Arabic employment and talent platform that runs on AWS.”
Through the Cloud 10 programme C5 aims to create 300 technology champions across the EMEA region over the next four years. As part of this C5 set up a ‘cloud fund’ in Bahrain which has $150 million available to invest in fast growing, tech companies in the MENA region that are using the cloud to scale regionally and globally. The fund is a multi-stage fund focusing on Series A to late stage investments.
Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, CEO, OneGCC, said, “We expect to exceed a million job seekers and on-board 2000 employers / companies before the end of 2017. We already have an extensive expansion plan ready and are excited to start executing it very soon. Today, at least 20,000 large corporations in Saudi alone suffer from achieving their nationalisation quotas and we are eager to start supporting around the GCC region as soon as possible.”
According to Dr Al Balooshi, a substantial amount of the investment will also go towards developing specific algorithms that will replace the need to hire recruiters every time a company has a job opening. “We are working so that the platform will make use of all the data we are collecting including psychometric analysis, numerical and verbal reasoning and other skills and information to recommend the best candidates for any given job post whilst taking into consideration each company’s hiring trends. We are working very hard on developing a new technology that we will be able to later use and replicate for other regions and parts of the world.”
According to Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO, Bahrain Economic Development Board the Cloud 10 programme encourages technology focused entrepreneurship in the country. At the same time, OneGCC makes a valuable contribution to Bahrain’s technology sector. “It plays a major role in ensuring that Bahrainis remain competitive globally by improving the diversity of skills offered in the Kingdom.
“The technology and startup industry is one with great potential for growth, and is one of EDB’s target sectors. We look forward to seeing further initiatives which strengthen Bahrain’s position as a regional and global digital economy,” he said.
The three-month rolling programme is divided into a series of sprints or tutorials that cover all aspects of scaling up a technology business such as operational scaling and business planning; customer acquisition and marketing; management and governance; product development and accessing investment. The programme will be delivered by a resident CTO and supported by a highly experienced group of prominent international tech entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors.