Saudi Arabia

Riyadh
*

Activation Phase
MEMBERS:
Saudi Venture Capital and Private Equity Association Monsha’at

Saudi Vision 2030’s unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship development has been a key enabler that fueled the collective efforts of many stakeholders to make Riyadh a world-class ecosystem for startups and investors.

Eng. Saleh Alrasheed
Governor of the Saudi SME Authority (Monsha’at)

Sub-sector Strengths

E-commerce

E-commerce is among the most rapidly growing industries in Saudi Arabia thanks to the region's buoyant economy, digitally-savvy population, and strong logistics sector, which accounts for more than 65% of overall funding for Saudi-based startups. Nana, an online grocery platform, raised $18 million in a Series B round in 2020.

Edtech

Edtech, a rising sector, accounts for 11% of the total number of deals in 2020. Noon Academy, an e-learning platform, raised a total of $21.6 million, including a $13 million Series B round in 2020.

Fintech

Since 2019, there has been a 352% increase in smartphone payment transactions and a threefold increase in the number of Fintech startups in the ecosystem. HyperPay, a payment service provider, raised $13 million in a Series B round in 2019.

Why you should invest in Riyadh

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$142 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$431 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$1 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$10.5 bn
Top 10 AME Ecosystem
Funding
Top 10 AME Ecosystem
Knowledge
5
Exit Growth
INDEX
8
Investor Activity
INDEX
10
Funding Growth
INDEX

Reasons to move your startup to Riyadh

MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$150 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$494 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$2 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$2.7 m
SOFTWARE ENGINEER SALARY
$35 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$42.1 k

Strong Government Support

A government fees reimbursement program, a one-stop shop for starting a business (Meras), the New Companies’ Law, and around 70 startup support organizations licensed by the government’s center for entrepreneurship, Monsha’at, all support startups. International entrepreneurs can obtain an entrepreneurship license with 100% ownership of their company in under three hours. The Ministry of Investment (MISA) has issued 350 such licenses.

Venture Capital Availability

In addition to the proliferation of local VC funds, augmented by two big Fund of Funds - Jada and the Saudi Venture Capital Company - 15 international MISA licensed VCs have set up offices in Saudi.

COVID-19 Policy

The Saudi government’s Covid salary aid program paid 60% of the salaries of the country's employees working in the private sector for a period of three months. Its initial budget was $2.39 billion, but the initiative, which was due to expire in October, has been extended till January 2021.

Get connected

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