Through these initiatives, as well as an increase in private capital availability, total funding increased by 35% and the number of deals increased by 92% from 2018 to 2019. Both of these numbers indicate strong growth in the Saudi entrepreneurship ecosystem, with deals and total funding at an all-time high.
With this increase in deals and total funding, Saudi Arabia increased its rank among its MENA-based peers as well: the country now ranks third in the region by both deals and total funding, following the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.
Contributing to the strong growth in the number of deals are existing and newly established accelerator programs, such as the Misk 500 MENA Accelerator and the Misk Growth Accelerator. In 2019, accelerators accounted for 32% of all investments in Saudi-based startups.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s PIF has launched the largest Fund of Funds in the region to date – the $1.07B Jada fund, which will aim to invest in local and regional venture capital firms.
All these initiatives resulted in another record: more institutions than ever before made investments in Saudi-based startups – 41 in 2019, as local and international investors show increased appetite for Saudi-based startups. The majority of these investors came from the Kingdom (68%), but the country also saw significant interest from international investors, who accounted for a third of all investors – higher than the MENA average.
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The full 100+ page MENA Venture Investment report was created with proprietary data from MAGNiTT’s leading platform.
This includes data-driven charts and graphics on the following:
- All 17 countries in MENA, by funding amount & deals, including a deep-dive into 5 top funded countries
- All 28 industries in MENA, by funding amount & deals, including a deep-dive into 3 top funded industries
- Ranking of the most active investors by funding stage
- All new funds and investors established in MENA in 2019
- A full list of all exits in 2019
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