Saudi-Based Startups Draw Record Number Of Deals In 2019

Saudi Arabia

Proving an outstanding year for entrepreneurship, 2019 saw Saudi Arabia’s startups attract $67 million worth of investments, a new report shows. This is an increase of 35 percent from 2018.

Last year also saw 71 investment deals, which is a staggering rise of 92 percent since 2018, and a record number in comparison to any other year, according to startup platform MAGNITT.

Additionally, there was an increase of 58 percent in institutional investors in startups based in the kingdom to a total of 41 institutions. Around one-third of these institutions were based outside Saudi, mainly in the UAE.

MAGNiTT’s Founder and CEO, Philip Bahoshy said: “There are several factors that contribute to the growth of the Saudi startup ecosystem in general: the size of its economy and population, as well as a high income per capita and internet penetration.

“This, combined with the increased government focus on the entrepreneurship sector through Funds of Funds, capital matching programs, accelerator programs, licensing schemes and other initiatives, contribute to the growth of the startup sector as a whole.”

This increase in business deals and capital funding in Saudi Arabia has placed it at the third highest spot for both categories in the MENA region, following UAE and Egypt.

The kingdom accounted for 12 percent of the total deals in the region, and 9 percent of the total funding.

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