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An Abu Dhabi sovereign fund is doubling down on tech with more cash, more office space and more SoftBank

Mubadala is here to stay.

Abu Dhabi Media Summit Photo by Karl Jeffs/Getty Images

A sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates is setting up shop in California, the latest Middle East investor to double down on an ambitious plan to turn oil money into tech money.

The Mubadala fund, which is based in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday that it would open an office in San Francisco in order to deepen its relationship with Silicon Valley. It is also unveiling its first venture capital fund and a new pool of cash that will be invested in venture funds run by other investors.

The moves will strengthen the ties between Mubadala and SoftBank, the Japanese company which is buying ownership in some of the most expensive private tech companies. SoftBank is investing cash into Mubadala’s own $400 million early-stage venture fund, and the San Francisco office will also be responsible for overseeing the $15 billion that Abu Dhabi has already committed to SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund.

Mubadala will also spend $50 million to $70 million in a $200 million total “fund of funds,” which will finance investments made by competing venture capitalists.

“Mubadala’s venture capital business intends to become an active member of the venture community, leveraging Mubadala’s global scale and power,” said Ibrahim Ajami, who leads the fund’s venture capital practice, in a statement.

Mubadala is touting its connection to SoftBank, which is already in talks to raise a second fund that could be even larger than its $100 billion Vision Fund that has rocked Silicon Valley. As a “strategic partner,” SoftBank said in a statement that Mubadala would be an “important part of the Vision Fund’s ecosystem of companies and entrepreneurs.” Mubadala is expected to invest in future SoftBank funds, too.

Middle Eastern investors are actively seeking ways to diversify away from their heavy reliance on oil reserves and to gain exposure to lucrative tech companies. Sovereign wealth funds sponsored by governments in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, among other nations, are in part fueling what has become a spike in Silicon Valley valuations.

Several other foreign funds, such as Qatar’s and Malaysia’s, have also recently opened offices in San Francisco — a physical signal that they aren’t leaving the U.S. sector anytime soon.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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