Saudi tech startups raise over $12.79m in 2017

Nawaf Al-Sahhaf
Updated 23 January 2018

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.


Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

Updated 17 October 2019

Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

  • Citizens of Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can now benefit from fast and convenient 
eVisa portal when arranging their next visit to the city of St. Petersburg.
Guarded by two marble lions at the entrance, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg sits within the walls of a 19th-century royal palace in the beautifully preserved imperial city of St. Petersburg. Celebrated globally for its history and architecture, Russia’s cultural capital recently became an even more attractive destination for GCC travelers thanks to the introduction of a convenient new online eVisa process.
Launched at the beginning of October, the St. Petersburg eVisa portal enables citizens from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman to enjoy the benefits of fast and simple online visa applications. Travelers can simply fill in the online form, upload a photograph, and can complete the entire process in just a few clicks. Applications can be made within 20 days of traveling, and up to four days before arrival. The visa is valid for stays of up to eight days in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region.
Felix Murillo, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, said: “The introduction of the eVisa portal offers a new level of convenience for international travelers, making it easier than ever for GCC citizens to arrange a trip to our wonderful city. Our concierge team takes great pleasure in highlighting St. Petersburg’s historical and cultural visitor attractions, and will be happy to arrange anything our guests may require to turn every trip into an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming visitors from the Middle East to our beautiful hotel to share cherished moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg is located in the upmarket Admiralteysky district and was originally constructed in the early 19th century for Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky.
Since first opening its doors to guests in 2013, the property offers 183 rooms, including 26 sumptuously decorated suites.
Perhaps the most stunning of the hotel’s accommodations is the one-of-a-kind Lobanov Presidential Suite, where guests can gather by the living room fireplace for a night of intimate conversation, host an al fresco dinner party on the expansive private terrace with stunning views of the Admiralty building and the surrounding park, or retreat to the grand master bedroom for a quiet and cosy evening.
The hotel is inviting guests to embark on a range of culinary adventures across its three restaurants. Diners can experience pan-asian fusion flavors at Sintoho, authentic Italian dishes at Percorso and modern Russian cuisine at The Tea Lounge.
Catering to the needs of visitors from the Middle East, halal meat is available on request.