Saudi Arabia's population is one of the world's most connected, with 91 per cent using the internet and a smartphone penetration rate of 73 per cent.
Online sales to Saudi Arabia were estimated at $8.7 billion in 2017 and projected to grow to $13.9 billion by 2020. The major barrier to domestic e-commerce adoption is cash on delivery.
Unemployment among Saudi nationals is around 12.8 per cent, but youth, who comprise about half of the population of 32 million face a more difficult challenge. Unemployment for those aged 20 to 29, stands at 29 per cent.
The total funds available for SMEs – directly or indirectly to tech entrepreneurs – are valued at $3.3 billion, yet, actual investments going into Saudi tech startups are concentrated on the seed stage and deal flows are moderate.