STC's tech VC fund expects to close first deal this year

Focus on AI, VR, banking services, logistics and digital health
500 MILLION fund, First deal of STV, STC, STV, Technology venture capital, Venture fund

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STC's  new $500 million venture capital fund, STV expects to complete its first transaction by the fourth quarter of this year, the fund's chief executive has said, according to a reports by Reuters. Abdulrahman Tarabzouni said that initial investments are currently being studied and areas under consideration include artificial intelligence, virtual reality, banking services, logistics and digital health services. 

STC CEO Dr. Khaled Biyari said STV aims to spend its $500 million over the next four to five years. He made it clear that the fund would run independently from STC. 

The telecom group would be using the fund to go digital in a bigger way. Last December,  STC agreed to buy a 10% stake in regional taxi-haling app Careem for $100 million. The Careem stake will now be handled by STV. 

Though STV might be engaging in discussions for e-commerce, Dr. Biyari said that the field might be getting too crowded with the launch of Noon and acquisition of Souq.com by Amazon. 

In terms of its traditional telecom business, STC has submitted a bid for the third MNO licence in Oman. Moreover, STC and Mobily have agreed on a joint financial adviser, aiming to unite their mobile tower operations. 

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