Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

KPMG launches Saudi metaverse investment fund

Co-workers familiarise themselves with virtual reality headsets and the metaverse
  • Kingdom projected to spend $34.6bn on technology in 2023

KPMG has launched a co-investment fund for metaverse use-cases in Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom ramps up its commercialisation of the new technology. 

The consultancy firm will work with Saudi public and private partners on expediting metaverse-based technology for practical use.

“We’re optimistic about the future of metaverse and Web3 technologies in the kingdom,” said Maz Hussain, head of Digital Lighthouse at KPMG, the firm’s centre of excellence for data, analytics and AI.

“Guided by an advisory board of global ecosystem partners and with a dedicated team of specialists from academia and industry, we’ll be focused on use case development in Saudi Arabia.”

The new fund was announced on the sidelines of Leap 2023, the four-day annual tech conference held in Riyadh last week.

KPMG also announced the launch of its new centre of excellence, aimed at expediting the application of both the metaverse and digital twin application in Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

“Digital twin” is defined as the digital counterpart of real-world physical products, systems or processes which can be used in the metaverse. A key part of Digital Lighthouse’s objectives is to help organisations build digital twin infrastructure. 

KPMG is bringing together a broad collective, with Microsoft leveraging its infrastructure and gaming platform, Ericsson bringing their 5G technology and network; and Metakey acting as the technical partner to develop 3D objects. 

“We have seen an immense commitment from the Saudi government to invest in the metaverse and to explore the public utility of the technology,” said Hussain.

“[Digital Lighthouse] will provide an incubation function to several technology capabilities that will be required to deliver a differentiated offering to the market.”

Technology ranks as one of the key pillars of Saudi’s Vision 2030 strategy, which seeks to diversify its economy away from oil.

According to the International Data Corporation, the kingdom is projected to spend $34.6 billion on information and communications technology in 2023 – more than any other country in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco, last week announced a $300 million increase in its funding aimed at boosting the growth of tech startups in the kingdom. 

The size of the fund will grow to $500 million and will be directed towards local investments in mid and growth-stage startups, especially underserved areas such as the metaverse and quantum computing.

Tonomus, a subsidiary of the $500 billion signature Neom mega-project invested $1 billion in 2022 in artificial intelligence, including a metaverse platform.

According to a recent report by PwC’s Strategy&, the metaverse will contribute $15 billion annually to GCC economies by 2030, led by Saudi Arabia with an estimated value of $7.6 billion and followed by UAE at $4 billion.

Latest articles

A welder at work in Ras Al Kaimah. The northern emirates will benefit from lower electricity tariffs under a new scheme for local manufacturers in the UAE

UAE to direct additional $6bn to local manufacturers

The UAE is to direct an additional AED23 billion ($6.3 billion) to local manufacturers as it strives to develop its homegrown sectors and diversify its economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons. Abu Dhabi state oil company Adnoc will expand its local manufacturing procurement programme for critical industrial products by AED20 billion to AED90 billion […]

Workers at a Riyadh construction site. The Tonomus competition aims to find innovation in the sector

Saudi Arabia races to find technologies for futuristic cities

Saudi Arabia is urgently seeking new technologies for its construction and real estate sectors as it races to make good on its pledge to build futuristic multi-billion-dollar cities. Tonomus, a subsidiary of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s $500 billion signature Neom development, has joined forces with the Public Investment Fund to launch a competition offering […]

Riyadh Air Comac C919

Riyadh Air not buying from China’s Comac ‘for now’

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new national carrier, will not consider China’s Comac for its narrowbody order to be announced later this year. However, the airline said it saw a future in Saudi Arabia for Comac, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, as the Chinese alternative to Boeing and Airbus.  “The narrowbody order is in its […]

Organisations have protested US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid to buy a stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings

Malaysian airport deal faces Gaza war backlash

Plans by a consortium, including the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to buy a stake in Malaysian airports have been hit by protests against the deal from local business organisations in the Asian country. As many as 22 organisations have called upon the Malaysian government to block US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid […]