Individual investors top financiers of Saudi technical startups

Nawwaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators.
Updated 12 December 2017
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Individual investors top financiers of Saudi technical startups

Individual investors have the biggest stake in Badir incubated startups in the innovation and modern technology field at SR30 million ($8 million), representing 40 percent of the total funding. In the third quarter of 2017 alone, the funding amounted to SR75 million.
The government came in second with financial support to such companies at SR29 million, corresponding to 39 percent of the total, statistics issued recently by Badir Program for Technology Incubators revealed.
The private sector companies released about SR10 million equivalent to 13 percent of the total, while investment funds shelled out about SR6 million to the funding of startups or 8 percent of the total.
Moreover, Badir statistics showed an increase in the technical startups funding deals by venture capital companies, with declared investments in the program’s incubated or graduated companies reaching about SR32 million in the past three months of the current year.
Currently, the number of Badir incubated technical startups increased by 24 percent to reach 158 companies, compared to 127 in the beginning of the same year.
Among the most active sectors for Saudi entrepreneurs, the statistics of Badir program revealed that startups in the field of the Internet of Things, big data, and cooperative economy dominated about 75 percent of the 158 incubated companies.
On the other hand, the biotechnologies companies reached about 16 percent, compared to 9 percent for industrial technologies.
Nawwaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, one of the main programs of KACST, said: “The startups are facing a major difficulty in finding financing in their early stages, while their chances of getting financing in advanced stages are still stable, especially those having promising growth potentials, and at the same time surrounded by high risks.”
He added: “Given the impulse in the activity of business incubators and accelerators, and the increase in the number of startups in the Saudi market, we witnessed in the current year a considerable increase in the number of platforms of collective funding and the networks of individual investors, in addition to the growth in the number of venture capital investment companies, the fact that reassured somehow the Saudi entrepreneurs regarding the new alternatives for providing flexible funding opportunities in order to help them build and develop investment plans.”


King Abdullah Port sponsors logistics forum

Updated 18 September 2018
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King Abdullah Port sponsors logistics forum

King Abdullah Port has signed an agreement to sponsor the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference organized by the Transport Ministry. The conference, which will take place on Oct. 15-16 in Riyadh, will be held under the patronage of Transport Minister Dr. Nabil M. Al-Amoudi. Decision-makers, experts and officials from major local and international companies involved in the supply chain and logistics sector are expected to attend.

Highlighting the importance of participating in the event, Rayan Qutub, CEO of King Abdullah Port, said: “Our sponsorship of the conference comes within our commitment to cooperate and exchange expertise with the active players of the logistics sector, which recently has been witnessing major developments in terms of business volume, innovation and solutions that complement Vision 2030 and transform Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub by promoting its position on the Logistics Performance Index issued by the World Bank.”

“Saudi Arabia has a number of components and facilities that enable it to play a key role in this sector at the regional and global levels, and we will play our part in showcasing the best King Abdullah Port has to offer in the logistics sector, such as solutions and facilitation for investors based on the port’s strategic location on the Red Sea. The port is on the main shipping line between the East and West, which significantly enhances the Kingdom’s competitiveness and positions it among the key countries in global trade,” he added.

Qutub will participate in a session for CEOs, where participants will discuss strategic decisions to reshape and keep pace with the global system of supply chains and logistics.

King Abdullah Port previously announced an increase in container handling reaching 1,236,075 TEU during the first half of 2018, marking a new record of 50.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Earlier, the port announced a 21 percent increase in its annual throughput by the end of 2017, making it the second largest port in the Kingdom in terms of container handling. 

Run by the Ports Development Company, King Abdullah Port is the region’s first port to be fully owned, developed and operated by the private sector. It has been listed as the fastest growing container port in the world and one of the world’s top 100 ports after less than four years of operation. Eight of the largest shipping lines work at the port, which offers integrated services to exporters and importers.