Qatar’s $320b wealth fund seeks to catch up on technology

A tourist, left, uses binoculars to look at the view from Victoria Peak as commercial and residential buildings stand in the distance in Hong Kong, China. Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking to increase investments in technology companies, unfazed by recent declines in the sector, its chief executive officer said.

The Qatar Investment Authority “will keep investing in technology as it is the most important sector right now,” Mansoor Al Mahmoud told reporters in Doha Sunday. “We think we are underweight” and are “trying to catch up.”

Middle East sovereign wealth funds have been beefing up their investments in the industry after previously spending billions of dollars on trophy assets, such as London real estate and stakes in global banks. The QIA, which has assets of about $320 billion, hired Bank of America Corp. dealmaker Tristan Lacroix to bolster its push into technology, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in September.

While some technology startups have generated huge amounts of wealth over the past decade, companies like WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc. have been unable to match private market valuations.

QIA has invested in companies including Foursquare Labs Inc., biotech firm Rubius Therapeutics Inc., Homology Medicines Inc., Thoughtspot Inc. and Grail Inc. as part of the expansion of its venture capital unit, people familiar with the matter said last December. The fund in 2017 said it would open an office in San Francisco to focus on the technology industry.

The QIA will also continue investing in the U.K., Al Mahmoud said, after Boris Johnson‘s landslide electoral victory last week cleared the way for the government to push ahead with leaving the European Union. “The U.K. is an international market and we always continue investing in the U.K.,” he said.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.