Badir-incubated biotech start-ups raise $2.66m in 2017

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Nawaf Al Sahhaf

RIYADH — The Saudi biotech start-ups incubated by Badir Biotechnology Incubator, under the Badir program belonging to King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), has successfully raised close to SR10 million ($2.666 million) in new funding last year.

The funding deals were led by venture capital firms, individual investors’ networks, along with other governmental institutions. In detail, self-financing accounted for approximately 15% of the total amount of investment financing reaching about SR1.5 million. The share of government investment in these projects reached SR3.5 million, equivalent to 35% of the total investment and SR5 million for venture capital companies, which is equal to 50 % of the total amount of financing and investment.

Badir Biotechnology incubator was established in 2010 within the King Fahd Medical City complex in Riyadh. The incubator works to encourage and support the establishment and development of the biotechnology business sector, through assisting the commercialization of research projects as well as private sector biotechnology innovative products and services. Its aim is to create advanced medical services, support the localization and commercialization of biotechnology and contribute to the advancement of the health sector in the Kingdom.

Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, said: “Badir Biotech Incubator aims to encourage and support the launch of new biotechnology projects. The Incubator hosts pioneering projects for researchers, technicians, and doctors in the fields of biotechnology and life sciences, such projects that have the potential to grow into promising and valuable companies in the Kingdom.”

Al-Sahhaf said: “The Biotech Incubator has received over 400 applications since its establishment, and it is currently incubating about 26 technical projects, all of which achieved sales of SR15 million and created more than 116 job opportunities to Saudi young people.”

He added: “We look forward to supporting biotech start-ups which have the basic factors that enable them to make quantitative changes in the main technology sectors. We expect a rise in the average of establishing and funding this type of companies in the coming years, especially following the adoption of new alternatives for offering flexible funding opportunities, hence assisting them in developing their investment plans and increasing their future expansions.” — SG


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