Saudi start-ups raise $3.110 million funding in 2nd quarter of 2018

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RIYADH – The technology start-ups incubated by the Badir Program, one of the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology initiatives, has successfully raised around SR11.660 million ($3.110 million) in the second quarter of 2018, up by 7.66% from the previous quarter when SR10.830 million ($2.888 million) was raised, according to a new report released by Badir Program.

After a relatively strong first quarter, the funding scene in Saudi Arabia was able to keep pace in the second quarter of 2018, showing strong signs of ecosystem growth in the Saudi market, according to the latest Badir report.

The report revealed that individual investors were the most active in terms of funding size, having pumped 7.450 million ($1.987 million) into Saudi startups across 4 deals in the second quarter. They were followed by venture capital firms with 2 deals reaching a combined total of 1.40 million ($373 thousand), the funding of the private sector companies reached to SR2.800 million ($747 thousand) approximately through 1 funding deal, while the volume of loans has not exceeded SR10,000 ($2,666).

The data showed that the total funding has been increased to SR150.951 million ($40.253 million) since the establishment of the Badir program in 2008 until the end of June 2018.

The analysis has revealed that the Individual investors have the biggest stake in Badir incubated start-ups since its inception in 2008 at SR60.9 million ($16.256 million), representing 40% of the total funding. The venture capital firms came in second with financial support to such companies at SR49.03 million ($13.074 million), corresponding to 32% of the total.

Badir report has shown that the funding of the private sector companies reached to SR32.842 million ($8.758 million) equivalent to 22% of the total, while funding by the governmental institutions shelled out about SR7.057 million ($1.881 million), while the volume of loans does not exceed SR1.06 million ($282,6 Thousand).

Currently, the number of Badir incubated technical start-ups increased by 18% to reach 228 companies at the end of June 2018, compared to 193 in 2017.

Commenting on the results, Nawwaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, said: “The Saudi startup industry is seeing bright prospects and it was more activity in the second half of 2018. I am very optimistic about this year as we will see the surge in more investments and opportunities in seed round and angel funding for most startups. Series A and Series B is also bullish of the ever-growing and expanding Saudi start-up industry.”

“With the increased awareness campaign for the Incubator programs, we were able to reap better results with more funding from the anticipated quarters. Saudi startups have a wide range of financing options as funding volumes in the Saudi market have increased steadily, with a lot of fresh money flowing into seed and early-stage companies,” Al-Sahhaf added.

Badir Program is one of the leading programs of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The program was established in 2008 to improve and support technical entrepreneurship throughout the Kingdom by helping the strategic policy applied in entrepreneurship and incubators in collaboration with government agencies, universities and the private sector. — SG


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