Ixia Capital, a fresh face in the venture capital (VC) scene, is betting big on the future of online gaming in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Armed with a $20 million (£15.8 million/€18.7 million) fund, this new VC aims to tap into the burgeoning market.

Gaming Goldmine in the UAE

Run by seasoned pros from the gaming and finance sectors, Ixia Capital plans to invest in “high-growth” gambling companies from the seed stage to Series A. Their ambitious goal? Launching over 25 startups in online gaming, Web3, crypto, and blockchain within the next five years.

Mona Motwani, CEO of Ixia Capital, shared her optimism with iGB, noting the UAE’s promising yet undefined regulatory landscape. With the recent establishment of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), there’s a buzz around the potential for a significant legal casino market in the UAE.

While Ixia Capital has a global outlook, its initial focus will be on the UAE, India, and Africa, leveraging the team’s expertise in these regions.

Meet the Team

Leading the charge is Mona Motwani, who brings seven years of experience managing government relations for Sportradar in the Indian subcontinent.

Pictured; Mona Motwani

Joining her are Tyler Dean, a VC fund veteran from the US; Imran Bukhari, a tech whiz with experience as a software consultant for Bet365; and Biren Gala, who boasts a decade of private equity experience with Mayfair Equity Advisory in the UK.

Investment Ventures

Ixia Capital’s venture studio, Ixia Studio, based in the US, has already dipped its toes into several projects. These include FasFas Games, a Sports NFT Trading Exchange, a gaming loyalty rewards platform, a sports investment thought leadership platform, and a sports coverage and engagement app. While details remain under wraps, these projects are expected to launch soon.

Motwani highlighted the fund’s interest in B2B and B2C startups, especially those blending esports, gaming, Web3, crypto, and blockchain.

UAE’s Regulatory Landscape

A June report by CBRE hints that regulated gaming could soon debut in the UAE. Although online casinos in the UAE are currently licensed offshore, changes might be on the horizon through a Federal Decree or adjustments to the criminal and penal codes. With increased activity and interest from public companies, these regulatory changes are anticipated soon.

CBRE also pointed out that a well-regulated online gaming environment could quickly evolve due to the widespread use of illegal online gaming providers accessed via VPNs or proxies. The GCGRA is expected to focus on regulating this area.

Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts is already making moves. An integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah is slated for completion by 2027.

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