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Saudi Aramco doubles funds for venture capital arm

Arabian businessman working in modern office Additional funds will be used by Aramco Ventures to support startups in a variety of sectors, from tech to sustainable development Shutterstock/Anel Alijagic
Additional funds will be used by Aramco Ventures to support startups in a variety of sectors, from tech to sustainable development
  • Oil giant takes fund to $7.5bn
  • Additional $4bn to Aramco Ventures
  • Focus on energy and digital tech

The Saudi oil giant Aramco said on Wednesday that it had more than doubled the capital allotted to its venture capital arms to $7.5 billion as part of its investment in new energy and digital technologies. 

The additional $4 billion will be given over the next four years to Aramco Ventures, where Aramco had already invested $3 billion. It will take Aramco’s overall venture capital allocation to $7.5 billion, which also includes the $500 million venture capital fund Wa’ed Ventures.

“This will provide crucial impetus to businesses at various stages of development around the world,” Aramco’s vice-president of technology and innovation, Ahmad Al Khowaiter, said in a statement.

Aramco Ventures has so far managed three funds: the $500 million Digital/Industrial Fund, the $1 billion Prosperity7 Fund and the $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund, which invests in startups contributing to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Wa’ed Ventures invests in Saudi startups. 

Saudi Arabia has become the leading destination for venture capital in the region, with funding for Saudi startups rising 159 percent to $2.36 billion in 2023. 

The ministry of communication and IT has a SAR600 million ($160 million) fund for AI technology projects and a SAR250 million fund for tech startups. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an avid gamer, is pushing the digital and tech industry, including e-sports, as an area that appeals to Saudi Arabia’s young population. About 63 percent of the Saudi population is under 30.

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