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APICORP Rebrands as The Arab Energy Fund, Unveils New Strategy and Plans up to $1bn to Drive Energy Transition Including Decarbonization Technologies



  • APICORP unveiled its new identity The Arab Energy Fund at COP 28, ushering in a visionary 2023-2028 strategy and up to US $1 billion in planned investments in energy transition including decarbonization technologies.
  • The new strategy marks the convergence of the institution’s evolution and 50-year legacy, positioning it as a pioneering impact investor/fund within the new energy sector.
  • The planned investment of up to US $1 billion is part of the institution’s focus on energy transition and decarbonization and related technologies to support the shifting energy landscape towards a net-zero world.

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), a multilateral impact financial institution focused on the MENA energy sector, is embarking on a transformative journey with its visionary 2023-2028 strategy and a new name, signaling a redesigned business approach focused on long-term growth and impact.  This strategic shift includes a planned investment of up to US $1 billion over the next five years towards advancing energy transition with a focus on decarbonization and related technologies, announced during COP 28.



The institution’s rebrand as The Arab Energy Fund, aligns with its deep commitment to playing an active role in supporting the MENA’s energy landscape transition towards a net-zero future. This evolved strategy represents the institution’s natural progression as a pioneering impact investor, with focused verticals for investing in the energy sector including decarbonization and related technologies as a key vertical, effectively balancing energy security and sustainability.

Aligned with this strategy, the institution will rebalance its overall portfolio with continued loan growth and an enhanced focus on equity investments while continuing to innovate to expand its range of financing and direct equity solutions and expert advisory services.

During COP 28, where The Arab Energy Fund is showcasing its role as a climate supporter in the Green Zone’s Energy Transition Hub, Khalid Ali Al-Ruwaigh, CEO of The Arab Energy Fund, unveiled the new name and strategy.

He remarked: “APICORP’s (now known as The Arab Energy Fund) transformative strategy marks the institution’s next chapter, deeply rooted in our 50-year legacy and our distinctive role in the MENA energy sector. It highlights our commitment to impact-driven solutions, leveraging our deep industry expertise and regional access to enable the evolving energy landscape towards a net-zero world. Our strategy involves diversifying investments by championing technological advancements for enhanced energy efficiencies and driving sustained decarbonization efforts. Additionally, we are extending our investment scope beyond the core value chain, actively cultivating and shaping value chains within the region.”

He added: “Our new strategy and name signify not only our dedication to empowering the region’s energy ecosystem but also resonate with our mission to create a meaningful impact by promoting economic growth, boosting local value chains and local content, through skill development, and fostering knowledge creation.”

Following the establishment of its green bond framework in 2021, the institution set a precedent in sustainable finance by issuing the first-ever green bond issuance by an energy-focused financial institution in the MENA region. The US-denominated five-year benchmark issuance raised an impressive US $750 million, over US $610 million of which has already been allocated to 11 projects in the region.

Currently, 18% of the institution’s US $4.5 billion existing loan portfolio, is dedicated to supporting environmentally and socially responsible initiatives, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, and pioneering a path toward more sustainable financing.

The Arab Energy Fund is also in the process of enhancing its ESG Policy Framework, also introduced in 2021, demonstrating the institution’s strong commitment to incorporating responsible business practices into its operations. This effort reflects the institution’s leadership in shaping a more sustainable and responsible future for all.

As the MENA region’s only multilateral impact financial institution, The Arab Energy Fund is also committed to backing the 2050 net zero commitments made by its member countries. The institution has publicly affirmed the imperative need for collective climate action to align with the significant goals laid out in the UN Paris Agreement.

In line with this commitment, the institution introduced several innovative financial solutions that are considered regional firsts, including its pioneering US $75 million Murabaha facility for voluntary carbon offsets and financing of distributed power portfolios.

The Arab Energy Fund stands among the highest-rated financial institutions in the MENA region, boasting ‘AA’ rating from Fitch, alongside ‘Aa2’ from Moody’s and ‘AA-‘ from S&P. This strong endorsement from the rating agencies and the robust regional support from member countries, along with substantial backing from the region’s energy ministries, underpinned by strong liquidity and credit profiles, positions the institution as a key player in championing a pragmatic and sustainable energy future.

ABOUT The Arab Energy Fund
The Arab Energy Fund – formerly the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) – is a multilateral impact financial institution focused on the MENA energy sector established in 1974 by the ten Arab oil-exporting countries. The Arab Energy Fund’s mission is to enable a secure and sustainable energy future for the region through a comprehensive range of financing and direct equity solutions and expert advisory services across the entire energy value chain to leading public and private sector business partners in 25 countries. The Arab Energy Fund applies best-practice ESG principles across all operations, with environmental and socially-linked projects comprising 18% of its US $4.5 bn loan portfolio. The Arab Energy Fund is the only energy-focused financial institution in the MENA region rated ‘Aa2’ by Moody’s, ‘AA’ by Fitch and ‘AA-‘ by S&P.

View The Arab Energy Fund’s ESG Policy Framework here.
For more information about The Arab Energy Fund, please visit:

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure




ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance,, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people





The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy



  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy


KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit:

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