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PIF entities invest $133m in South Korea’s AhnLab

Site Ventures, a unit of PIF-owned Site, will acquire a 10% stake in South Korea's AhnLab AhnLab Inc
Site Ventures, a unit of PIF-owned Site, will acquire a 10% stake in South Korea's AhnLab

A technology subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will set up a joint venture with South Korea’s AhnLab to develop and localise multiple cybersecurity technologies in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Information Technology Company (Site) and its subsidiary, Site Ventures, will invest more than SAR500 million ($133 million) in the venture to carry out research and development, state-run SPA news agency reported.

Site will own 75 percent of the new venture while the remaining 25 percent will be held by the South Korean company, an AhnLab statement said. The company is expected to be launched in the first half of 2024.

In addition, Site Ventures will acquire a 10 percent stake in AhnLab to strengthen its business cooperation.

“This new investment is one of many that Site is developing,” said CEO Dr Saad Alaboudi.

Localising cybersecurity technologies will address the ever-growing market dynamics and demands in the kingdom and the region, he added.

The joint venture will tailor AhnLab’s cybersecurity technologies to the needs of the Mena market, including Saudi Arabia, and accelerate global growth, CEO Suk-Kyoon Kang said.

Last month The New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia plans to create a $40 billion fund to invest in artificial intelligence.

Saudi officials have expressed interest in supporting chip makers and data centres that are increasingly necessary to power the next generation of computing, the report said. They have even considered starting PIF’s own AI companies.

In February PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said that he expects the kingdom to emerge as a centre for artificial intelligence activities outside the US.

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