The technology startups incubated by Badir Program, one of the King Abdul Aziz City for
Science and Technology’s main initiatives, have raised over 48 million Riyals (US$ 12.8 million) during 2017 through 15 funding deals.
The deals, which recorded a 64 percent increase in comparison with the previous year, were led by venture capital firms, individual investors’ networks, and governmental institutions.
VC firms’ funding amounted to 34.5 million Riyals ($9 million) and capital was divided over five startups. Individual investors funded eight companies with 11.89 million Riyals ($3.1 million), while the funding of the Social Development Bank has reached 1.9 million Riyals ($507,000) in form of loans presented for the benefit of two startups.
Throughout the year, Badir Program organized three ‘Demo Day’ events to put startups in touch with funding investors. These resulted in announcing eight out of the 15 deals amounting to 12.4 million Riyals ($ 3.3 million).
According to Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, several factors have contributed to the uptick in the size of funding during 2017, namely the rise in the number of funding and risk investment companies, lending platforms, as well as individual investors networks which have become more active recently.
He mentioned that disclosing the startups’ funding deals will contribute to raising awareness and transparency within the funding environment in the local market, especially with the remaining funding gap that hinders emerging companies from turning into businesses capable of attracting investments.
Al Sahhaf further added: “We look forward to supporting startups 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.”