RIYADH: Gulf Capital, an alternative investment company, has acquired a SR1 billion ($260 million) stake in Geidea, the leading provider of electronic payment solutions and financial technologies in Saudi Arabia.
Geidea started with just five employees, including founder Abdullah Al-Othman, but now has more than 500 staff and branches within the Kingdom and abroad.
Young Saudi entrepreneurs will be the first beneficiaries of this new alliance, which will further facilitate electronic trading and motivate the growth of small and medium enterprises. This deal should encourage Saudi entrepreneurs to use persistence and consistency as the major tools required for success.
Investors will also now increasingly turn their attention toward Saudi Arabia’s financial and information technology sectors to find new opportunities. One of the aims of Saudi Vision 2030 is to establish a digital infrastructure that can boost the economy and pave the way for young and ambitious Saudis in fields such as innovation and technology.
Many companies in the technology industry experience difficulties finding qualified Saudis, which means that the market is still thirsty for developers and programmers. This could be owing to a lack of training courses and practical skills in the teaching system that can help students in the workplace.
Looking at the IT output of local universities, faculty and management are expected to review the current curriculum and see whether it aligns with such expeditious changes in the Saudi labor market and delivers up-to-date knowledge, skills and abilities. Otherwise, young graduates will most probably study abroad to meet the new expectations of the Saudi market, which might create a gap between demand and supply in the IT industry.
There is good news with a forthcoming new college specializing in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and advanced technology, which is expected to have a substantial impact in attracting graduates to major in technology.