Arif Saiyad is the force behind Arif Saiyad & Associados Ventures (ASA Ventures)―a venture capital company which he founded in his native country, Portugal, in 2003. Currently headquartered in Dubai, Arif sits at the head of ASA Ventures which has over 30 portfolio B2B and B2C companies under its umbrella, with corporate offices in four other countries outside of the UAE.
Arif’s primary area of expertise is technology, specifically machine learning and artificial intelligence. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL), and has completed a 3-year programming/engineering course from Microsoft. Apart from this, he is a Google-certified developer. When he shifted into the entrepreneurial lane 15 years ago, he led several successful entrepreneurial pursuits in Europe and the Indian subcontinent, and had varying degrees of involvement in them, from conceptualization all the way to funding. In 2013, Arif turned his focus to the Middle East and it was through ASA Ventures’ seed fund that the website mobileshop.ae, an ecommerce platform, turned his $30,000 investment into $3 million USD almost overnight. To this day, ASA still holds a 45% stake in the company.