MAGNiTT is proud to publish the H1 2019 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital Snapshot, sponsored by Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC). This marks the first instalment of reports to highlight key trends in KSA.

Saudi Arabia is one of the quickest growing startup and venture capital ecosystems across MENA. Total funding saw an 82% increase from H1 2018 to H1 2019, with number of deals increasing by 44% over the same period.

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In H1 2019, MAGNiTT recorded 26 deals in Saudi Arabia, amounting to $40M in total funding.

The report highlights key venture investment and entrepreneurial developments, providing the most up-to-date figures for funding and highlights in Saudi Arabia. We also review strategic initiatives undertaken by the Saudi Arabian government and private entities in H1 2019 to further encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom. Below you can read more from key contributors to the report:

Engr. Saleh bin Ibrahim Al-Rasheed
Chairman at Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC)


"The venture capital scene in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rapidly evolving, due to the many governmental initiatives launched towards achieving the Saudi Vision 2030. We are seeing more such initiatives to foster entrepreneurship than ever before. They have stimulated venture investments in startups, especially Saudi Arabia-based startups. Key governmental players in these initiatives are Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI), Small and Medium Enterprises General Author- ity (Monsha’at), Capital Market Authority (CMA), Saudi Arabian General Authority (SAGIA), and Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The government venture capital initiative launched by Monsha’at was established in 2018 as Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), part of the Private Sector Stim- ulus Plan (PSSP). This is to minimize current equity funding gaps for startups. The allocated fund size is $750 Million (SAR 2.8 Billion) to be deployed through two main programs: co-investment in startups and investment in funds."

H.E. Dr. Nabeel Koshak
CEO at Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC)


"Saudi Arabia is currently witnessing an increase of the quality and quantity in the deal flow of startups, as well as more professional angel investors and venture capital funds are arising. We are thrilled by the distinguished entrepreneurs that are creating fast-growth and scalable startups.

At the Saudi Venture Capital (SVC), we believe that the core to the development of any ecosystem is transparency of information, data and success. SVC is excited to bring to you a bi-annual report by MAGNiTT highlighting the developments of the local venture ecosystem, who the key protagonists are and developments across the Kingdom in the startup investment scene. This H1 2019 report is our kick-off report, which we look to build on to year-end and beyond. We hope that you find this data-driven report useful to get a better understanding of the overall Saudi Arabia landscape.

Abulrahman Tarabzouni
Founding Chairman at Saudi Arabia Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCPEA)

"We are currently undergoing what will likely be considered the tipping point of venture capital activity in Saudi Arabia. VC investments in the Kingdom are growing rapidly, and our optimism for the future of Saudi Arabia’s overall economic and entrepreneurship ecosystems is growing with it. Many factors propelled this growth: sizable regional exits for companies primarily driven by Saudi Arabian demand validated the venture capital model as a viable investment vehicle. Increasing demand for digital solutions across industries is matched with an impressive rate of adoption by both the public and private sectors. Saudi Arabia's internet users, typically seen as mostly consumers, are now becoming active contributors to the digital economy and creating economic value using technology.

As the Saudi Arabia Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCPEA), we have no doubt that this is only the beginning and are committed to enabling an ecosystem to promote and drive even more investments and entrepreneurship activity in the Kingdom. Opportunities are abound and there’s a blue ocean of industries and whitespaces that are ripe for disruption, innovation, and digitization — all areas that are being fueled by venture capital and will have a significant impact on the country. As our stakeholders continue injecting not only capital but also time and resources to build the country's talent pool, streamline its laws, think and execute big driven by an ambitious national vision and transformation plan, all these soft and hard investments will keep compounding for generations to come." 

Philip Bahoshy
Founder and CEO at MAGNiTT

"Core to MAGNiTT's vision is transparency and information sharing. We are very excited to work together with Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) to highlight the funding trends and key highlights of the startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, which is quickly developing into a leading ecosystem across the MENA Region. 

Using our proprietary data, we look to engage and encourage all stakeholders in the Kingdom to report information that can be shared – not only with the Kingdom, but across the region and beyond. This information will act as a catalyst to further growth and development while providing a road map to investors and inspiration to founders on the opportunities of the startup ecosystem across the region. 

SVC, along with many other key stakeholders in the Kingdom, provide a platform for startups to engage and develop their companies. Our hope is that these bi-annual reports will help continue to drive developments in this space by highlighting success stories, opportunities and government initiatives to spur on the development and scalability of companies within the Kingdom, as well as the scaling of foreign startups and investors into the Kingdom. Scale is the name of the game, and Saudi Arabia is a key part of that. 

We hope you enjoy this report and I openly invite you to provide feedback and information to ensure we comprehensively capture the activity within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Click the button below to download the full free report for insights into funding trends and key developments in Saudi Arabia.


Do you have any feedback on this report, update on the funding of your startup or would like to know more information about MAGNiTT Research? Please get in touch with us at [email protected].