AstroLabs has announced the launch of setupinsaudi.com, a centralized online source of curated, up-to-date information on setting up a 100% foreign-owned entity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Setupinsaudi.com lists a 16-step setup process, detailed information on requirements, and offers a dedicated specialized operations team in Riyadh to manage end-to-end processes for businesses, making their expansion journey seamless and hassle-free.
AstroLabs holds a unique status as the first international business incubator licensed in the Kingdom. In 2018, AstroLabs solidified a partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (previously SAGIA), when they signed a cooperation agreement that made them a partner of choice to support businesses expanding into the Kingdom. To date, AstroLabs has helped over 60 companies enter the Saudi market, with a combined value of over USD 5bn. These include Checkout.com, one of the most valuable global fintech businesses, Bayut, the UAE’s largest online property portal, and AKQA, a renowned global design and innovation agency.
Having a physical address is one of the requirements for setting up or expanding a business into Saudi Arabia and AstroLabs offers a complete soft-landing package, with a physical address and dedicated working space in its Riyadh coworking facility. The company also provides extended support from its overall ecosystem, such as connecting to recruitment partners and service providers and assistance in navigating logistics and settlement matters too.
Check out MAGNiTT's webinar with Dr. Mazin Al Zaidi of MISA who shares the steps to take in order to successfully scale to and set up in the Kingdom, from the different visa options to registering with MISA and applying without an accelerator or VC.
“Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the MENA region in terms of its population and consumer spending. Driven by the government’s Vision 2030, the Kingdom offers a competitive and open business environment and presents a great market opportunity for expanding businesses and startups to access now. Setupinsaudi.com helps simplify the complex business establishment process by making the setup and licensing information accessible in one, easy-to-navigate online space along with support from specialized market experts. Through the launch of setupinsaudi.com, AstroLabs will continue to empower businesses to establish themselves in Saudi and further boost the country’s digital economy,” said Muhammed Mekki, Founding Partner of AstroLabs.
One of the notable companies that AstroLabs is in the process of setting up in the KSA is the global design and innovation agency, AKQA. Headquartered in San Francisco, AKQA has over 2,000 employees across its offices in the UK, US, and Asia and is now expanding into Saudi Arabia. AKQA is a part of the WPP network, a world leader in communications services, and was recently recognized as the Best Place to Work for Innovators by Fast Company.
“Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for AKQA’s growth in the Middle East, but the process of setting up a business in the country can be challenging to navigate without the right support. AstroLabs is a leading expert on Saudi Arabian company establishment, and they were swift and accurate with their communication and support. They helped us solve the challenge of establishing our operation in Saudi with professionalism and made things straightforward,” Tim Baker, Managing Partner, AKQA.
Founded in 2013, AstroLabs is a capability building company committed to developing the digital ecosystem of the MENA region through its academy, network of collaborative coworking communities, and company establishment services in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
MAGNiTT's 2019 Saudi Arabia Venture Investment Report, found that the Saudi Arabia startup ecosystem is growing and now occupies the third place in the MENA region by deals and amount of funding:
• $67M was invested in 2019, a 37% increase compared to 2018’s $47M.
• 69 deals took place in Saudi-based startups in 2019, an increase of 86% from 2018. With this, the country saw the highest number of deals in startups on record, topping the previous high of 37 in 2018.
• While the UAE continued to account for the lion’s share of total funding in MENA, 60% in 2019, Saudi Arabia took third place, with 10% of overall MENA funding, making the country an up-and-coming ecosystem.