MITEF Saudi Arabia announces semifinalists

MITEF Saudi Arabia announces semifinalists
To qualify for the competition, applicants must present an innovative project that is scalable and capable of making a positive impact on the community.
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Updated 13 January 2021

MITEF Saudi Arabia announces semifinalists

MITEF Saudi Arabia announces semifinalists

The MITEF Saudi Arabia, a program of the global network of MIT Enterprise Forum, in collaboration with Bab Rizq Jameel, recently announced the semifinalists in the competition’s three tracks: Startups, Ideas, and Social Enterprises. The competition will be holding its closing ceremony virtually on March 6 under the patronage of Abdullah A. Al-Swaha, minister of communications and information technology.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will be represented by Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Future Jobs and Digital Entrepreneurship Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan.

The semifinalists were selected by a jury composed of 100 business and academic experts from all over the world, who evaluated more than 500 projects against the competition criteria, which are creativity, potential to expand and the positive impact on the community.

The second round of judging will be held on Feb. 20 to announce the names of the finalists (27 teams). The third round will be held on March 3, after the virtual briefing sessions and the business accelerator from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13. A Startup Investment Forum will be held on March 4, 5 and 6.

Bayan Alghamdi, head of entrepreneurship programs and MITEF Saudi at Community Jameel, said: “This year, the MITEF Saudi Arabia competition saw remarkable progress in terms of the quality of entries in various categories and fields, including e-commerce, education technologies, consumer services, productivity applications, in addition to digital technologies and healthcare.

“The competition is organized in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to support small and medium enterprises. The total number of applicants since the launch of the competition in 2015 has reached more than 8,500 participants from all over Saudi Arabia, thanks to the support of all governmental and private companies. Despite the hard times we have gone through this year due to the global pandemic, entrepreneurs were able to overcome this challenge with a lot of creativity and innovation that contributed to curbing this pandemic, and we wish all the best for participants and good luck to the semifinalists.”

To qualify for the competition, applicants must present an innovative project that is scalable and capable of making a positive impact on the community.

The Saudi startups that qualified for the semifinals of the 5th MITEF Saudi Startup Competition are: Jirah, Nugttah, Grintafy, Future Platform, Winch, Meeza, Hudhud AI, LOGEXA, Linkers IoT, Tafeyette Inc., Spider Connect, Shgardi, BashQash, PhysioHome, and Hesba.

Semifinalists in the Ideas track included 15 teams: Genomez, Hydrojeen, Sawty, Estidama, Hakawati Game, Carissimi, Msaha, Themar, Qawam, SARsat, Aquash, Mthmr, White Helmet, Harreef, and Vending Machine Layer.


STC’s Q4 net profit jumps 15.6% to $714m

STC’s Q4 net profit jumps 15.6% to $714m
Updated 25 January 2021

STC’s Q4 net profit jumps 15.6% to $714m

STC’s Q4 net profit jumps 15.6% to $714m

STC’s net profit for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 reached SR2.68 billion ($714 million), an increase of 15.6 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. For the 12-month period of 2020, the net profit reached SR11.08 billion, an increase of 3.94 percent.

The revenues for Q4 reached SR15.21 billion — an increase of 14.69 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. For the 12-month period of 2020, the revenues reached SR58.94 billion, an increase of 8.43 percent.

The gross profit for Q4 reached SR8.48 billion, an increase of 1.54 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. For the 12-month period of 2020, the gross profit reached SR33.99 billion, an increase of 4.96 percent.

The operating profit for Q4 reached SR3.29 billion, an increase of 37.08 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. For the 12-month period of 2020, the operating profit reached SR12.81 billion, an increase of 2.69 percent.

The earnings before interest, taxes, zakat, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for Q4 reached SR5.716 million — an increase of 14.62 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. For the 12-month period of 2020, the EBITDA reached SR22.175 billion, an increase of 4.28 percent.

Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, STC Group CEO, said the company has achieved the highest annual revenue in the past eight years. This achievement was primarily due to the increased demand for STC’s services and products, and the company’s ability to meet this demand promptly and efficiently, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The STC Consumer Business Unit’s revenue has grown as a result of 27.5 percent increase in FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) and 10.6 percent increase in broadband subscribers, in addition to a 9 percent increase in data revenue during the current period compared to the previous period.

Further, the Enterprise Business Unit’s revenue has also increased during the 12-month period, by 24.6 percent, due to the company’s ability to provide the necessary support and innovative services to its customers in order to accelerate their digital infrastructure transformation. Despite the challenges faced by the Wholesale Business Unit due to the travel ban and its impact on international roaming revenues, the unit’s revenue increased during 2020 as well. Moreover, the revenue generated by STC’s subsidiaries grew by 13.8 percent during the current year, which contributed positively to achieving these results.

Al-Nasser highlighted STC’s success as a digital enabler for the Saudi G20 presidency, where STC provided critical telecommunications and digital services for all meetings as well as expanded the 5G network by 130 percent to accommodate the increase in digital services during the G20 summit.

Recently, the company launched three mega data centers in Riyadh, Jeddah and Madinah with the aim of enabling the digital transformation of the government and private sectors and strengthening the cloud infrastructure for the local digital economy in the fields of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cloud computing, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.

Additionally, in order to enhance the infrastructure and accelerate the growth of the local digital economy, STC also signed a $500 million non-binding MoU to invest in the field of cloud services with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and artificial intelligence arm of the Alibaba Group.

STC Group was re-elected to the board of directors of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), following its win in the elections comprising the world’s 25 top telecommunications companies.

As part of STC’s strategy to support and develop the financial sector in the Kingdom, STCPay signed an agreement with Western Union to sell an equity stake of 15 percent at a value of SR750 million ($200 million), where the proceeds will be used to develop the company and support its expansion plans.