Saudi Arabia’s startup funding increases 102% in H1 2020, reaching a record high of $95M

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 35% increase in total funding from H1 2019 to H1 2020, while Saudi Arabia’s startup funding grew by 102%. Furthermore, while the MENA region saw an 8% drop in number of deals from H1 2019 to H1 2020, Saudi Arabia saw a 29% increase.


هل تُفضّل الحصول على التقرير باللغة العربية؟ اضغط هنا.

MAGNiTT founder & CEO Philip Bahoshy will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday 22 July at 5pm KSA / 6pm UAE. We will be joined by key stakeholders, including:

- Investors Faris Alrashed, Founder & Chairman of Derayah Ventures and OQAL, and Abdullah Altamami, Founding Partner & CEO of Merak Capital

- Founders Ammar Waganah, CEO & Co-Founder of Dokkan Afkar, and Abdulmajeed Alyemni, CEO and Co-Founder of Salasa


Sign up now, because seats are limited!

The increase in funding and number of deals comes amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has affected startups’ cash flows and revenues significantly, according to a MAGNiTT & INSEAD report. As a result of the crisis, many investors have made a shift in their investment mandate, both in terms of stage and industry.

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 (67%) and number of deals (22%).

Other industries, such as Sports & Fitness, saw a drop in deals and revenues, falling from third place by number of deals in H1 2019. Many government initiatives have focused to alleviate the burden of the COVID-19 outbreak, including deferred payments, waived fees and bills, paid vacation, and salary guarantees for 70% of a company’s Saudi employees. 


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