We Will Overcome Covid-19: Some Put a Lot of Money on That

We Will Overcome Covid-19: Some Put a Lot of Money on That

There isn’t a single industry that wasn’t affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Startups fared a bit better than the rest, but that also depended on their field of expertise. Biotechs, naturally, lured the most investments, especially the ones working on Covid-19 vaccines.

Will there ever be a return to our “old normal”?

If you were to ask this Khaldoon al-Mubarak, chief executive of Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund, Mubadala, the answer would be definitely affirmative. 

UAE and Its Investments

Back in March, when the threat of Covid-19 was confirmed, Mubadala’s top management took necessary measures. The first thing they did was to get on the call with the biggest investors and health experts from around the world and to consult with them about the possible outcome.

The outtake was that at some point we will go back to normal and there will be new business opportunities. By investing in diverse industries they felt the confidence to express the belief that their country, United Arab Emirates, will in this period lessen its dependence on oil.

Since 1958 when oil was first found in UAE, this country quickly became one of the biggest producers. The country became too reliant on this natural resource. This is the reason why Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan wanted to switch to new investment prospects. That is why he turned his attention to Mubadala Investment Company, a state-owned sovereign-wealth fund.

Mubadala’s Investments during Pandemic

With their experience and knowledge, Mubadala’s management knew that they needed to come up with the worst-case scenarios for Mubadala’s investments. They took the time to research and see which industries will probably benefit from the pandemic. Therefore, they decided to heavily invest in electric vehicles, medical companies, and deliveries. 

Mubadala’s electric vehicle investments include Chinese electric car maker Xpeng Motors, German E-scooter company TIER Mobility, and funding the self-driving car project by American company Alphabet Inc. 

When it comes to health and pharma industry related investments, Mubadala invested in companies Envision Pharma Group (medical software), PCI Pharma Services (pharmaceutical supply chain solutions), and Evotec SE (drug discovery and development). Mubadala also funded the efforts of a medical firm working on the Covid-19 vaccine trial. In addition, they part-funded a UK Arcadia drug trial for diabetes patients who were affected with coronavirus. 

Mubadala also invested in Reef Technology Inc., a company that helps the on-demand services. They are finding unused real estate (mostly parking spaces and garages) and are transforming them into hubs for delivery firms, restaurants, and ridesharing options, including electric bike and scooter rentals.

While we are on the topic of the pandemic, Mubadala also invested in young company mmhmm, a virtual camera application to create backdrops, virtual rooms during video calls, something that became necessary in this age of Zoom, Skype, and other video call applications.

Mubadala is also acting as a lender during the pandemic. Apollo Global Management Inc., a US private-equity firm, launched a platform for big loans and Mubadala joined as the main investor. Besides that, Mubadala also entered the partnership with Barings LLC which started providing smaller loans for midsize European companies.

No Missed Opportunities

Mubadala’s main goal is to not miss out on any opportunities that might arise due to the pandemic crisis. Thinking ahead and focusing on finding the most prospective investment candidates in these new times is a challenging, but not an impossible task.

Mubadala is just one example of similar companies that understand the pandemic did slow down certain industries. However, they need to continue outlining their investments and think long-term. Since several vaccines are being developed and their roll-out is now a matter of time, the world’s economy is bound to adapt to the post-pandemic challenges and continue where it left off in a bit changed fashion and, hopefully, wiser for it. 

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