- Investment initiatives valued at $4.2 billion were announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), held in Riyadh under the auspices of Monsha’at and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
- Founded in 2008 by Jonathan Ortmans, GEN is an entrepreneurship platform that operates projects and programmes in 200 countries, aims to connect entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organisations in order to scale businesses.
- GEC has seen this year a slew of startups raising pre-Seed, Seed and other funding rounds to raise sums of between $1-5 million, including EdfaPay, Merak Capital, Intella and Vision Fund.
Investment initiatives with a financial value exceeding $4.2 billion have been announced by the Saudi Government on the first day of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Riyadh.
The funding was unveiled among 34 agreements on a day that also saw a slew of startups successfully undertake, pre-seed, seed and other funding rounds to raise sums of between $1 million and $5 million.
The GEC – taking place under the banner of Reboot, Rethink, Regenerate – is the first time in over two years that entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers from around the world will meet in person.
The investment announced includes the Social Development Bank’s launch of new products and initiatives to support and empower entrepreneurs with a value of almost $3 billion, while the Saudi Venture Investment Company signed agreements with a number of investment funds with a total value of around $656 million. Meanwhile, SABIC launched the “Nusaned Fund II” along with NCB Capital, at a value of $200 million, to support startup companies and develop the industrial sector.
The agreements include memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for small and medium-sized enterprises, and Cars24, a leading global automotive e-commerce platform, Lenskart International, the largest Asian eyewear retailer, and Kitopi, which specialised in cloud kitchens, to support entrepreneurs in their specialised fields.
Monsha’at also signed MOUs with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority to launch the “Ruwad” initiative, and with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for cooperation in the fields of data and artificial intelligence.
An MOU was also signed with SABIC, to cooperate in a number of initiatives for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. A further agreement was also signed with the Al-Jabr Finance Company to provide financing products to entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises, to the value of more than $5.33 million.
Governor of Monsha’at, Saleh Ibrahim Alrasheed said: “These initiatives are further evidence of the Government’s forward-leaning approach to creating an environment for business success in Saudi Arabia.
“GEC 2022 in Riyadh is connecting entrepreneurs with investors from all over the world who are looking for the most exciting opportunities.”
The first day, which saw Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak address delegates, witnessed a number of investment rounds. Watheeq Capital closed an investment round in Spiders Micro-Mobility for the "pre-seed" funding with a value of $1.4 million, as well as another investment round in Darent for the "pre-seed" funding at a value of around $1 million.
Solutions Courier Company for Logistics Services closed an investment round of $4.5 million, and EdfaPay fintech Company obtained an investment round of $1.6 million. Merak Capital, which specializes in investing in technology and innovation, closed a seed round, with the participation of MERCED, and an angel investor, with a value of $1.3 million. Intella closed an investment round led by Hala Ventures in Egypt with a value of $1 million. Dailymealz closed an investment round with the participation of Hala Venture, Sidra Venture and Vida Holding, by dividing more than $5.3 million, while Vision Fund closed an investment round in Krusty Company with a value of $2 million.
This year’s GEC is being co-hosted in Riyadh by Monsha’at and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).