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COTU Ventures Launches $54M MENA Startup Investment Fund

The industry-agnostic fund focuses on supporting founders from the inception of their idea through to post-product launch.



cotu ventures launches $54 million mena startup investment fund
COTU Ventures

COTU Ventures, which stands for Champions of the Underdog, has announced that it has raised $54 million to invest in what it calls “extraordinary founders” in the MENA region.

In a philosophy that explains the firm’s unique name, COTU will help startups at the earliest stages of their journeys, investing at the pre-seed and seed stages, where founders often have difficulty attracting attention from backers.

“I’ve been a part of the regional ecosystem since 2008, and it’s come a long way since then,” explained Amir Farha, founder and GP of COTU Ventures. “Saudi Arabia has opened up internationally, and governments have been driving policies and investment to activate the technology sectors of their local economies. We have a growing young population of tech-savvy, digitally connected consumers with substantial spending power. When you combine this with remarkably low customer acquisition costs and some of the highest revenues per user, there has never been a better and more profitable time to invest in the region than today”.

The fund from COTU is industry-agnostic and instead focuses on identifying and supporting the most talented founders from inception to post-launch. So far, the firm has invested in over 20 early-stage startups, including mortgage platform Huspy, UAE-based ResTech company Supy, and Sirdab, a leading Saudi storage and warehouse management platform.

Also Read: The Cloud Secures $12M For GCC And European Expansion

“Our partnership with COTU Ventures has been a cornerstone of Sirdab’s journey,” enthused Naif Alzahri, the startup’s founder. “Amir and the entire COTU team have contributed a wide array of expertise that has significantly enhanced our strategic, technical, and operational frameworks. Their unique approach to collaboration is rare to find [and the] foundation of trust and mutual understanding not only highlights the extraordinary nature of our relationship with COTU but also makes us eternally grateful for their support”.

COTU’s distinctive approach is rooted in the conviction that an individual’s early years serve as a barometer for their potential success as an entrepreneur. The firm believes there is a profound impact from decisions made during a startup’s infancy, and to that end equips founders with valuable resources, perspectives, and connections to better navigate their entrepreneurial journeys.


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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.



adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro

After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

Also Read: UGREEN Unveils Nexode RG 65W Charger For Middle East

The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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