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Saudi fund SVC’s $30m to energise Middle East startups

Dubai Riyadh startups Unsplash/Disruptivo
SVC aims to sustain financing for startups and SMEs by investing $2 billion via investment in funds and co-investment in startups

State-owned Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) is investing $30 million in a fund that will invest in startups and growth-stage companies from the Middle East.

Fund III will be managed by Impact46, a Riyadh-based asset management and advisory firm, state-run SPA news agency reported.

The SVC fund will invest in Saudi growth-stage companies and businesses up to pre-IPO stage, with an allocation to seed-stage startups and promising startups from the broader Middle East region.

“Our Fund III aims to support the growth of the tech startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia,” said founder and CEO of Impact46, Abdulaziz Alomran.

Saudi Arabia last month launched a $200 million fund to invest in local and global high-tech companies as part of plans to diversify and create more high-quality technical jobs.

The funding is part of a strategy unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority and Financial Sector Development Programme in March launched the Investment in Fintech VC fund.

Abdullah Alswaha, minister of communication and information technology, said just before the launch that the country had attracted more than $9 billion in investments.

The Saudi fintech industry raised $239 million in funding in 2022, according to venture data firm Magnitt.

Established in 2018, SVC is a subsidiary of the SME Bank. It aims to stimulate and sustain financing for startups and SMEs from pre-seed to pre-IPO by investing $2 billion through investment in funds and co-investment in startups.

So far, SVC has invested in 43 funds, which have invested in more than 700 companies.