Investments worth SAR 630 million ($168 million) have been channeled to Saudi startups in H1 2021, achieving a whopping 65% growth rate compared to the same period last year, a venture capital investment report revealed.
In its H1 2021 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital report, compiled in co-operation with Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVCC), the data platform “Magnitt” explained that even though 2020 was a positive year for daring investments in the Kingdom, 2021 was the year to show record-breaking investment flows into Saudi startups.
The $168 million pumped into Saudi startups in H1 2021 accounted for about 94% of the money extended to the Kingdom’s startups in 2020.
Saudi Arabia surpassed Egypt to be ranked second by share of total Middle East and North Africa (MENA) funding, while accounting for 21% of the region’s venture capital transactions.
Moreover, the Kingdom accounted for 14% of venture capital funding invested in MENA startups in H1 2021, according to Magnitt.
Fintech startups raised 1700% more capital YoY. Together, FinTech and food and beverage startups accounted for 44% of the capital invested in Saudi Arabia in the first half.
About 75% of investors that backed startups in Saudi Arabia in the first half were based within the country, the report said.
Governor of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat) Saleh Alrasheed confirmed the Authority’s interest in offering services, programs, and supporting initiatives to entrepreneurs.
The Authority does so to build SME market competition and boost growth. Invigorating financing for SMEs is also an objective of Monshaat’s policies.
Alrasheed added that the establishment of the SVCC in 2018 had significantly and directly contributed to developing Saudi Arabia’s venture capital investment landscape.
SVCC is a government company established by Monshaat within the Financial Sector Development Program. The company aims to develop a venture capital system by investing 2.8 billion riyals ($750 million).