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Investments in Saudi Startups Grow by 55%

Investments in Saudi Startups Grow by 55%

Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 - 10:00
File image used for illustrative purposes. REUTERS/ Fahad Shadeed

The General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat) has revealed that the Year 2020 saw investments worth USD152 million in KSA-based startups, a 55 percent increase year-over-year (YoY).

This was mentioned in a report released by MAGNiTT, the largest venture data platform tracking startup investments. The annual 2020 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital Report is also sponsored by the Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC).

Against the backdrop of COVID-19, 2020 was a record year for Saudi startups for a number of key indicators, including the number of deals, amount of venture capital invested, and the total number of VC funds and angel investor groups investing in KSA-based startups.

This amount of capital was also deployed across a record-high number of deals in 2020 (88 transactions), with the total number of transactions up by +35 percent YoY, reversing the general trend across MENA, where deals were down.

In the context of MENA, Saudi Arabia maintained its ranking of third place for both numbers of deals and capital invested in the region -- the country’s startup deal-flow growth-rate was the largest across MENA.

Monshaat Governor Saleh al Rasheed expressed keenness on encouraging capital funding of SMEs and entrepreneurship, as well as reinforcing investment in startups.

Dr. Nabeel Koshak, CEO of SVC, said that “Saudi Arabia is witnessing an increase in the quality and quantity in the deal flow of startups. More venture capital funds and angel investor groups are arising. We are thrilled by the distinguished entrepreneurs that are creating fast-growth and scalable startups.

Despite the slowdown of COVID-19, Saudi Arabia saw a record increase in VC funding in 2020, compared to 2019. As part of Vision 2030, many new initiatives have been launched in recent years to spur VC investments and startup growth."

Koshak stressed that "Saudi Arabia has always been an attractive market for local and regional entrepreneurs due to its large market size.”

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