On October 24th, NEOM, the new future city in Saudi Arabia, announced the establishment of a strategic investment institution called Neom Investment Fund (NIF). NIF will invest in early-stage technology companies globally through mergers and acquisitions as well as venture capital, with a focus on pioneering growth-oriented firms and next-generation industries. NIF will also establish joint ventures and partnerships with large multinational corporations, institutional investors, and innovators within NEOM.
The investment projects of NIF include Chinese autonomous driving company Pony.ai, Regent, and supersonic aircraft manufacturer Boom Technology.
According to the information, Pony.ai has received a $100 million investment from NIF. The two parties will also establish a joint venture in NEOM to produce and operate autonomous taxis.
NEOM is an industrial and commercial new city located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. It is expected to cover an area of 26,500 square kilometers with a total investment of $500 billion. This “zero-carbon linear city” stretching 120 kilometers is projected to accommodate 5 million people. NEOM will focus on nine major industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing, and entertainment. It aims to rely entirely on new energy sources in the future.
NIF Investment Fund CEO Majid Mufti stated that NIF’s strategy aligns with the development goals of NEOM project. So far, NIF has invested in several technology companies across 14 key sectors in NEOM, which will have a significant impact on the project’s crucial technologies, future living, and sustainability. Over time, this approach will make NEOM a benchmark for sustainable economic development.
SEE ALSO: Pony.ai’s New Robotaxi Debuts in Beijing
On October 18th, Pony.ai signed a cooperation agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) of the United Arab Emirates, announcing its participation in the development of the Abu Dhabi Smart Autonomous Vehicle Industry Cluster (SAVI) in Masdar City.
According to reports, Masdar City is an environmentally friendly city built in the suburbs of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi aims to develop SAVI into a diversified smart transportation industry cluster integrating land, sea, and air, with the goal of accelerating the comprehensive deployment of advanced intelligent transportation tools. It has been learned that SAVI vigorously unites builders from various industries, introduces world-leading technology companies, builds mature industrial chains, and accelerates the landing of future mobility solutions in the UAE through encouraging investment and financing, innovation funding, and streamlining regulatory services.
“After signing a cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi, Pony.ai is currently negotiating specific collaboration plans and hopes to expedite the implementation of the project.” A representative from Pony.ai told reporters.