Saudi tech startups raise over SR48m in 2017

Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program.

RIYADH — The technology startups incubated by Badir Program, one of the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology main initiatives, have successfully raised more than SR48 million during the year 2017 through 15 funding deals led by the supporting venture capital firms, individual investors’ networks and governmental institutions hence recording a 64% increase in comparison with the previous year.

The funding the venture capital firms amounted to SR34.5 million approximately which were divided on five startups. The individual investors have funded eight companies to an amount of about SR11.89 million, while the funding of the Social Development Bank has reached SR1.9 million approximately in form of loans presented for the benefit of two startups.

As a result of the “Demo Day” event organized by Badir Program three times a year for the purpose of joining startups with funding investors, the concluded deals amounted to half of the number of investment funding deals after announcing 8 deals amounting to SR12.4 million approximately so far. While seven deals were concluded outside the competitive enterprises showcase with an overall value of SR35.8 million approximately.

It is likely that the overall size of investment funding of startups will increase after disclosing the results of the third edition of the “Demo Day” event which was held last month; noting that concerns emerge out of this type of funding operations in relation to the confidentiality of information which are only revealed after closing the investment rounds according to Badir Program for Technology Incubators.

The “Demo Day” event aims at presenting, studying and facilitating the funding of promising investment opportunities among the technology startups incubated by Badir.

So far, 18 companies have presented their products, plans and market investment opportunities before more than 40 companies, investment funds and individual investors for the purpose of funding and developing such innovation based enterprises distinguished for having major growth opportunities in both local and regional markets. — SG