April 11, 2020
Pandemic will spark innovation in agriculture, education and health
DUBAI: It has been said time and again in the course of the global pandemic that things will never be the same again, and nowhere more so than in the world of finance.
Stock markets are a rollercoaster, with some of the biggest crashes on record followed by big recoveries. Nobody can say with any certainty that the worst is over in financial markets, or whether they will go through another round of savage downgrades.
But some investment experts are already planning for the post-COVID world, and Noor Sweid is one of them. As founder of the Dubai-based venture capital (VC) business Global Ventures, she sees investment opportunities that she believes will make money for her limited partners — the people backing her investment judgement.
But she also believes the current crisis offers an opportunity to spark innovation in sectors that have been at the forefront of the pandemic – healthcare, work lifestyles, education and food security.
“You have a lot of investors with a lot of money sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to unfold and then they’ll take it from there. But investors need to be active at this time, because you’ll see lower valuations and real innovation from incredibly strong founders,” she told Arab News, pointing to an estimated $189 billion of pent-up VC potential waiting in the wings. “There is a lot of dry powder.”
Sweid’s background is the perfect CV for a venture capitalist. Educated on the US East Coast, a spell in biopharma strategy consulting, team leader for one of Dubai’s biggest IPOs, and former chief investment officer for the Dubai Future Foundation.