Ixia Capital Targets UAE’s iGaming Potential with $20 Million Fund

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Ixia Capital, a new venture capital fund, has said that it is eager to capitalize on the “very bright” future that it believes iGaming has in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with its $20 million fund.

A small group of gaming and financing veterans operate the Ixia Capital fund, and they said that they intend to focus on “high growth” gambling companies at the seed to Series A stages. The fund has plans to launch more than 25 startup companies in the online gaming, web3 and crypto and blockchain sectors over the coming five years.

This strategic focus is due to the imminent regulation of the iGaming market in the UAE. Ixia Capital’s CEO and venture partner, Mona Motwani, has spoken about the potential of this market, saying:

“While it is unclear what the regulations will look like, this is one of the most promising regions and operators are already all geared up. The future of gambling in the UAE is indeed very bright.”

The UAE recently established the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) to create a regulatory framework for national lottery and commercial gaming, suggesting that major changes to the country’s regulations are on the way. It wouldn’t be surprising if those in the UAE would soon be able to enjoy online baccarat and many other casino games.

This is one of the reasons why Motwani believes that the “legal casino market is going to be a massive thing in the UAE” and that while Ixia is a global fund, the “focus in phase one is particularly on the UAE, India and Africa”.

A Highly Experienced Team

The leadership team at Ixia Capital brings a wide range of professional experiences. Mona Motwani spent seven years working at Sportradar, where she led government relations in the Indian subcontinent.

Other key partners in the fund include Tyler Dean, Imran Bukhari, and Biren Gala. Dean’s experience includes multiple VC and growth equity funds in the US. Bukhari worked for seven years as a software consultant for bet365 and his iGaming platform provider firm NE Group has produced solutions for gambling operators in Africa, including 888’s African JV 888bets. Gala has a decade of private equity funding expertise from Mayfair Equity Advisory in the UK.

Ixia Capital’s Investment Targets

Ixia Capital’s US-based venture studio, Ixia Studio, has invested in various projects. At present, they are working towards the launch of the games studio FasFas Games, a Sports NFT Trading Exchange, a gaming loyalty rewards platform, a sports investment thought leadership platform and an app for sports coverage and game engagement.

Motwani explained that a number of investments have already been made through Ixia Studio and launches are expected in the near future.

Regulated Gambling in the UAE

A report published in June by CBRE, an investment firm and real estate specialist, predicts the UAE will soon legalize and regulate gambling:

“Decriminalisation of gaming will likely take the form of a federal decree or legislative changes to the criminal and penal code. Given the increase in activity in the region and in public company commentary, we anticipate these legislative changes to be forthcoming in the next few months.”

There is already substantial access to illegal or gray market online gaming providers via VPN or proxy services in the UAE and CBRE said that “cleaning this up” is expected to be a “major priority” for the GCGRA.

Wynn Resorts is already capitalizing on this potential by developing an integrated resort in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, set to be completed in early 2027. The resort is expected to cost roughly $3.9 billion and it will include 1,542 rooms and suites, 22 lounges, dining and bar options, and a theater. Furthermore, the resort is set to feature a 15,000sqm shopping esplanade, a five-star spa and a 7,500sqm meetings and events center. While Wynn has not yet been granted a casino license for the resort, chief executive Craig Billings recently said that he expects one to be issued “imminently”.

Caroline Richardson
Caroline Richardson Read Bio
Hi all, I’m Caroline. I’m based in Boston, Massachusetts, with my husband and our three noisy and inquisitive kids. I began my career in journalism, working for several Boston-based....
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