Saudi Arabia’s startup venture capital funding increased by 55% in 2020, reaching a record high of $152M
In cooperation with Saudi Venture Company (SVC), we release our 2020 Saudi Arabia Venture Report that gives a holistic overview of the latest trends in the country’s startup ecosystem.
This report includes venture investment analysis for Saudi Arabia’s transactions in 2020:
• Aggregation and analysis of all tech startup investments in Saudi Arabia (KSA)
• A list of the most active investors in Saudi Arabia (KSA), including venture capital (VC) investors, angel networks, and accelerator programs
• Analysis of the top funding rounds in Saudi Arabia in all sectors presenting an increasing trend of digital adoption in E-commerce, Education, and Transport
• Review of all Exits in Saudi Arabia (KSA) including Mergers and Acquisitions in 2020
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Against the backdrop of COVID-19, funding in Saudi Arabia-based startups has grown significantly faster than the average in MENA: the 17 countries in the region saw a 13% increase in total funding from 2019 to 2020, while Saudi Arabia’s startup funding grew by 55%. Furthermore, while the MENA region saw a 13% drop in the number of deals from 2019 to 2020, Saudi Arabia saw a 35% increase.
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• The fast-growing KSA ranked 3rd for total funding in MENA, as it catches up to the UAE and Egypt ranking 1st and second respectively.
• In H1 2020, several high-profile funding rounds included Jahez ($36.5M), Nana ($18M), and Noon Academy ($13M). Each of these startups is notably active in industries that have seen a significant increase in adoption amid COVID-19: Jahez and Nana are active in food and grocery e-commerce, respectively, while Noon Academy focuses on the EdTech space. As a result, E-commerce obtained the top spot as the most active industry by both total funding (45%) and number of deals (20%)
• 2020 saw multiple large break-out deals in KSA, with the increase in the total funding amount partially attributable to KSA’s top-5 deals by funding amount that accounted for 56% of all the KSA-based startups in 2020.
• COVID-19 impact was observed in the second half of 2020 with a 63% decrease in deals compared to the first half of 2020.
• E-commerce investments accounted for 45% of all venture funding in KSA. Transport climbed +13 spots in the rankings to 2nd for capital allocation.
• The full year's amount of $152M was mostly driven by a record H1 2020, with $111M raised in the first half of the year, surpassing the total amount raised in the year of 2019.
This report was created with data from MAGNiTT, which is a comprehensive directory of emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
• Investment directories, a comprehensive list of all startup venture funding across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey
• Market sizing tools to visualize investment growth and trends across industries, geographies and stage
• Startup resources including a deal flow tool for applications to leading Venture Capitalists for investment
• Exit comparisons, looking at Mergers & Acquisitions from across the region
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