London-based clean technology asset management group I2BF has opened an office in Dubai in a bid to take advantage of the expanding renewable energy sector in the region and fundraising potential.
According to managing partner Ilya Golubovich, I2BF is looking to move away from its core investors of high net-worth individuals in Russia and Eastern Europe towards institutional investors, many of which are in the Middle East.
Having closed a $100m fund at the end of 2010 with Kazakh investors, I2BF is now targeting a $150m fund. About one-third of the fund is committed. I2BF is aiming to fill the fund out with one-third funds from Russia and Eastern Europe, one-third from the US and Europe and one-third from Middle Eastern investors.
Such investors may include institutions such as Qatar Invest or industrial groups, particularly in Saudi Arabia, among others. The fund invests in clean technology companies, primarily in the renewable energy, water conservation and water treatment sectors.
According to Golubovich, some of the companies the fund invests in are looking to take part in upcoming renewable energy projects, such as the planned solar projects in Abu Dhabi, Noor 1 and Shams 2.