Saudi startup that spots fake job certificates secures $1.5m funding

Saudi startup that spots fake job certificates secures $1.5m funding
Created in 2017, the startup plans to use the new cash injection to expand its DocCerts product offering. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 30 June 2021

Saudi startup that spots fake job certificates secures $1.5m funding

Saudi startup that spots fake job certificates secures $1.5m funding
  • Dhahran-based IR4LAB is one of the first companies of its kind in the Kingdom offering firms a way to determine the validity of proficiency claims

RIYADH: The entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, Wa’ed, has invested $1.5 million in a Saudi blockchain technology provider which helps recruiters to spot fraudulent professional qualifications.

Dhahran-based IR4LAB is one of the first companies of its kind in the Kingdom offering firms a way to determine the validity of proficiency claims made in job applications when recruiting new employees.

Created in 2017, the startup plans to use the new cash injection to expand its DocCerts product offering.

The Saudi Council of Engineers said it detected more than 2,799 cases of fraud last year from non-Saudi job applicants falsely claiming professional certificates.

Abdullah Al-Baiz, Saudi Aramco’s chief digital officer, said: “Blockchain digital platforms such as IR4LAB’s give employers a greater degree of certainty that certification for a job candidate is legitimate, which can accelerate employment decision making. There are many other deployment opportunities for such technology.”

Majd Al-Afifi, CEO and co-founder of IR4LAB, said: “Blockchain is a transformative digital technology, and we are proud to help the Kingdom stay at the forefront of this change. Our goal is to bring home the benefits of blockchain digital solutions to Saudis across the Kingdom.”

Wa’ed was established by Saudi Aramco in 2011 to offer loan financing activities to entrepreneurs, and its Wa’ed Ventures venture capital arm oversees a $200 million investment fund and portfolio of more than 30 Saudi-based companies.

It recently launched its first roadshow event to unearth and fund the next generation of Saudi entrepreneurs. With up to SR100 million ($26.6 million) at its disposal, Wa’ed is planning to hand out loans and venture capital investments to commercially feasible ventures that would fill existing gaps in the Kingdom’s economy.

The roadshow will visit Jubail, Yanbu, Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, and Madinah. Online applications for all Saudi-based entrepreneurs opened on Wednesday, June 16.

Wassim Basrawi, Wa’ed’s managing director, said: “Seventy out of over 100 startups we supported were the first of their kind and received their first-ever investment from us, and this is what we are targeting now: Distinguished and not yet supported startups and ideas.”


Siemens Energy working to turn green hydrogen to sustainable aviation fuel, says top official

Siemens Energy working to turn green hydrogen to sustainable aviation fuel, says top official
Updated 13 sec ago

Siemens Energy working to turn green hydrogen to sustainable aviation fuel, says top official

Siemens Energy working to turn green hydrogen to sustainable aviation fuel, says top official

RIYADH: Siemens Energy is working toward exploring the possibilities of converting green energy to sustainable aviation fuel, as the entire world moves toward achieving the goal of net-zero by 2050, said a top official.

While speaking at a virtual conference during the MEA Energy Week, Maria Ferraro, the chief financial officer of Siemens Energy, said: “It is important to commercialize the production of green hydrogen. We are now working together with our customers.” 

Ferraro also urged world countries to remain well-positioned to move toward the common goal of decarbonization.

She added: “Everyone has a role to play. We need to ensure that no country is left behind.”

Ferraro further noted that neither renewable energy nor the infrastructure surrounding it will be less expensive.


Commodities Update — Gold edges up; G7 leaders agree Russia gold import ban push; Wheat recovers from 4-month low

Commodities Update — Gold edges up; G7 leaders agree Russia gold import ban push; Wheat recovers from 4-month low
Updated 42 min 11 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold edges up; G7 leaders agree Russia gold import ban push; Wheat recovers from 4-month low

Commodities Update — Gold edges up; G7 leaders agree Russia gold import ban push; Wheat recovers from 4-month low

RIYADH: Gold prices edged up on Tuesday as US Treasury yields weakened, but the absence of any market-moving catalysts kept investors on the sidelines.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,825.99 per ounce by 0536 GMT. US gold futures firmed 0.1 percent to $1,827.30.

Platinum eases

Spot silver firmed 0.2 percent to $21.18 per ounce, and platinum eased 0.3 percent to $904.99. 

Palladium rose 1 percent to $1,889.67.  

G7 leaders agree on push to ban import of Russian gold

The Group of Seven leaders have agreed to push for a ban on imports of Russian gold as part of efforts to tighten the sanctions squeeze on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, an EU official said on Tuesday.

The UK, the US, Japan and Canada agreed at the start of the G7 summit on Sunday that they would ban imports of newly mined or refined Russian gold, while the EU expressed some reservations.

Grains up

Chicago wheat futures rose on Tuesday, supported by short-covering and bargain hunting after falling to a four-month low in the previous session as the ongoing winter harvest was ahead of expectations.

Corn and soybeans both edged up.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1.58 percent to $9.32 a bushel. The market fell to its lowest since February on Monday, pressured by the expanding harvest of winter wheat in the Northern Hemisphere and a lack of demand for US supplies.

Corn climbed 1 percent to $6.59-1/2 a bushel and soybeans edged up 0.87 percent to $14.45-1/4 a bushel.

Copper rebounds

Copper prices rose on Tuesday alongside a rebound in equities and hopes of more economic stimulus in top metals consumer China, although lingering recession fears kept gains in check.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.7 percent at $8,475 a ton, as of 0754 GMT, recouping early losses of 1 percent.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai ended daytime trading rose 2.2 percent to $9,707.39 a ton.

(With input from Reuters)


PIF-owned JCDC awards oceanarium contract to US design firm SOM

PIF-owned JCDC awards oceanarium contract to US design firm SOM
Updated 43 min 34 sec ago

PIF-owned JCDC awards oceanarium contract to US design firm SOM

PIF-owned JCDC awards oceanarium contract to US design firm SOM

RIYADH: The Jeddah Central Development Co., wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, has awarded a design contract for an oceanarium and coral farm landmark to US-based firm SOM.

The oceanarium and coral farm will cement Jeddah’s position as a regional and global sustainable marine conservation leader.

The phase 1 of master plan of the SR75 billion ($20.4 billion) Jeddah Central project includes four major landmarks — a museum, an opera house, a stadium, and an oceanarium, which includes a coral farm, and 10 recreational and touristic areas.

“The signing of these contracts comes as part of our plans to develop a project that will contribute to the growth of the national economy and creation of jobs for Saudi nationals, all while providing Jeddah residents and visitors with a wide range of cultural and recreational destinations,” said Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Sulaim, CEO of JCDC. 

JCDC Chief Development Officer Paul O’Brien noted that construction of new landmarks will help attract local and global investments for the development and operation of the JCDC’s facilities. 


SAMA’s $13bn cash injection brings immediate relief to Saudi lenders: Bloomberg

SAMA’s $13bn cash injection brings immediate relief to Saudi lenders: Bloomberg
Updated 48 min 22 sec ago

SAMA’s $13bn cash injection brings immediate relief to Saudi lenders: Bloomberg

SAMA’s $13bn cash injection brings immediate relief to Saudi lenders: Bloomberg

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank’s SR50 billion ($13 billion) cash injection has brought immediate relief to commercial lenders in the Kingdom, according to a Bloomberg report. 

SAMA made this move as banks in the Kingdom are faced with the worst liquidity crunch in over a decade, the report added. 

Amid the temporary relief, a Bloomberg Intelligence report estimates that lenders still need to raise about SR160 billion to finance bigger loan books. 

“Banks still must diversify funding. SAMA’s aid just delays a fix,” said Edmond Christou, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. 

The latest injection from the central bank have already started showing its impact as the Saudi Arabian Interbank Offered Rate, also known as SAIBOR, fell by about 17 basis points from Friday to 3.13 percent on Sunday, the report added. 

Moreover, banks included in the Saudi exchange Tadawul climbed as much as 1.4 percent on Monday, before closing down at 0.3 percent. 

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that funding from the central bank came in at least three separate tranches, with the first and second injections consisting of three-month deposits amounting to SR15 billion each. 

SAMA made one more placement in recent days that included both shorter and longer maturities, the people who wished to remain anonymous added. 


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; French markets regulator criticized for approving Binance; Three Arrows Capital defaults on a $670M loan

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; French markets regulator criticized for approving Binance; Three Arrows Capital defaults on a $670M loan
Updated 28 June 2022

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; French markets regulator criticized for approving Binance; Three Arrows Capital defaults on a $670M loan

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; French markets regulator criticized for approving Binance; Three Arrows Capital defaults on a $670M loan

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 1.77 percent to $20,811.95 as of 9:15 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,192.89 falling by 1.73 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

French markets regulator faces backlash after approving Binance

The French regulator’s decision to approve Binance last month has received criticism, with one European lawmaker describing the decision as “incomprehensible,” according to the Financial Times.

French MEP and member of the European parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs Aurore Lalucq has asked the Autorité des Marchés Financiers to revisit its May ruling, which she said gave Binance a “guarantee of respectability.”

The Paris-based regulator’s decision to register a Binance subsidiary as a digital assets service provider in May raised concerns in her remarks.

Binance fought for months to court French authorities, including President Emmanuel Macron, who met with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in November 2021.

In June last year, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority warned that the exchange was “not capable of effectively-being supervised” and its “complex and high-risk financial products” presented “a significant risk to consumers,” the FT added.

Binance has also been criticized by regulators in Singapore, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands for providing unregulated services in their markets.

Three Arrows Capital defaults on a $670 million loan

Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital defaulted on a $670 million loan after another sign of stress in the industry emerged on Monday. Crypto broker Voyager Digital announced that it had served a default notice on hedge fund 3AC for failing to make required payments, according to Reuters.

The loan was for 15,250 bitcoin, about $324 million, and $350 million of USD Coin, a stable coin, Voyager said.

It has stated that it intends to pursue recovery from 3AC and that it is currently in discussions with its legal advisers regarding potential legal remedies.

In recent months, Singapore-based 3AC has been one of the prominent crypto companies to run into difficulties. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that 3AC is exploring options including selling assets and getting bailed out by another firm.

(With inputs from Reuters)