Saudi tech startups raise over $12.79m in 2017

Nawaf Al-Sahhaf
Updated 23 January 2018
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Saudi tech startups raise over $12.79m in 2017

Technology startups incubated by the Badir Program, one of the main initiatives of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), have successfully raised more than SR48 million ($12.79 million) during the year 2017.
This was through 15 funding deals led by supporting venture capital firms, individual investors’ networks and governmental institutions, recording a 64 percent increase in comparison with the previous year.
Funding by venture capital firms amounted to SR34.5 million approximately, which was divided into five startups. Individual investors funded eight companies with SR11.89 million, while funding by the Social Development Bank reached SR1.9 million approximately in the form of loans presented for the benefit of two startups.
As a result of the “Demo Day” event organized by the Badir Program three times a year for the purpose of joining startups with investors, the concluded deals amounted to half of the number of investment funding deals after announcing eight deals amounting to SR12.4 million approximately. Seven deals were concluded outside the competitive enterprises showcase with an overall value of SR35.8 million approximately.
It is likely that the overall size of investment funding of startups will increase after disclosing the results of the third edition of the “Demo Day” event, which was held last month.
“Demo Day” aims at presenting, studying and facilitating the funding of promising investment opportunities among the technology startups incubated by Badir.
Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO of the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, said that several factors have contributed in increasing the size of funding this year, namely the rise in the number of funding and risk investment companies, lending platforms and individual investor networks, which have become increasingly active recently.
“Disclosing the deals of funding startups will result in raising awareness and transparency in relation to the funding environment within the local market, especially with the persistence of the funding gap affecting and hindering the companies in turning from an emerging company to complete commercial businesses capable of attracting investment capitals,” he said.
“We look forward to supporting startups which have the basic factors that enable them to make quantitative changes in the main technology sectors,” Al-Sahhaf added.


Mobily quarterly loss down by 49%

Updated 26 April 2018
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Mobily quarterly loss down by 49%

Saudi telecom provider Mobily decreased its quarterly losses in Q1 2018 by 49 percent to SR93 million ($24.84 million) compared with SR182 million in Q4 2017. This was mainly due to a growth of revenues driven by a better mix of products mainly from data, the increase of efficiency in managing operational expenses, the impact of implementing IFRS 9 and 15, and the reversal of certain provisions that are no longer required, according to the company.

Revenues improved for the second consecutive quarter reaching SR2,833 million in Q1 2018 compared with SR2,827 million in Q4 2017, a slight increase of 0.2 percent, despite the following:

l The impact on sales at the beginning of the year due to the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT). 

l The reduction in interconnection rates by 45 percent.

l The seasonality of handset sales, and its increase in Q4 2017.

l The seasonal decrease related to the number of days in Q1. 

Without the decrease of the interconnection rates, revenues would have grown by 2 percent.

Mobily’s gross profit increased in Q1 2018 by 6.6 percent to SR1,663 million compared with SR1,560 million in Q4 2017. This increase is mainly due to the reduction in interconnection rates during Q1 2018 compared with those of Q4 2017 and the reduction in equipment costs in Q1 2018 compared with Q4 2017.

Mobily managed to grow its revenues for the second consecutive quarter. Q1 2018 revenues slightly decreased by one percent (SR33 million) to SR2,833 million compared with SR2,865 million in Q1 2017. Mobily achieved a stable level in revenues despite the general economic and regulatory changes, including the impact on sales in the beginning of the year due to the implementation of VAT, and the reduction in interconnection rates by 45 percent.

Without the decrease of the interconnection rates, the revenues would have grown by one percent year over year.

The gross profit stabilized at SR1,663 million in Q1 2018 compared to SR1,665 million in Q1 2017 with a slight decrease by 0.12 percent, despite the slight decrease in revenues.