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.


Land Rover, Terry Grant smash world record

Stunt driver Terry Grant flipped the Range Rover Sport SVR up on to two wheels with the use of a ramp, before hitting speeds of up 60mph on Goodwood’s famous hillclimb.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Land Rover, Terry Grant smash world record

Land Rover and international stunt driver Terry Grant smashed a world record at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, with a two-wheel speed run in the new Range Rover Sport SVR. Grant’s 2:24.5 run up the famous hillclimb broke Grant’s old record for a mile traveled in a car on two wheels, set in 2011, by more than 30 seconds.
Grant flipped the Range Rover Sport SVR up on to two wheels with the use of a ramp, before hitting speeds of up 60mph on Goodwood’s famous hillclimb as he set the new Guinness World Record time.
Grant snatched the record in a dramatic last gasp attempt on Sunday afternoon, having attempted four runs earlier in the weekend, none of which Grant managed to complete.
The Range Rover Sport SVR is a 575hp performance SUV, capable of 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 174mph — with four wheels on the road, at least. The Range Rover Sport only required one modification for the world record run, a tweak to its differential to allow the car to deliver more power to the two wheels on the ground — both of which were pumped up to 90PSI.
Grant is a multiple world-record holder, with 25 Guinness World Records already to his name, and with this latest record, Grant has bested a 2:55 run that he himself set at Goodwood in 2011.
Stunt driver Grant said: “It really shouldn’t be underestimated how difficult a two-wheeled speed run like this is; you are always fighting to keep the car balanced right on the edge, as it tries to tip either one way or the other. You need to be conscious of everything, from the camber of the road to the strength of the wind. Thankfully, conditions were excellent and the Range Rover Sport SVR was the perfect precision tool for the job.”
The world record was not the only amazing Land Rover moment of the Festival of Speed, as 70 historic and important Land Rovers took to the hill in what was the largest batch of cars to ever tackle the famous route in one go. From 1948 to 2018, the parade of cars celebrated 70 years of one of Britain’s most iconic automotive brands.