Riyadh-based Al startup Intelmatix completes first investment round

Riyadh-based Al startup Intelmatix completes first investment round
Intelmatix Founder and CEO Anas Alfaris is a graduate of MIT. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 August 2021

Riyadh-based Al startup Intelmatix completes first investment round

Riyadh-based Al startup Intelmatix completes first investment round
  • Size of funding round not disclosed
  • Investors include STV, Sultan Holdings

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia-based AI startup Intelmatix has closed its first investment round led by STV, Mena’s largest venture capital fund, and Sultan Holdings, a leading strategic investor in some of Mena’s largest companies.

“Artificial Intelligence offers opportunities worth billions,” Intelmatix Co-Founder and CEO Anas Alfaris, Wamda reported, citing a statement. “In the Saudi Arabian market alone, Location Intelligence opportunities exceed SR2 billion annually, and globally, the value is more than SR100 billion each year.”

Intelmatix, headquartered in the Saudi capital Riyadh, said on its official Twitter account it is pleased to announce the closing and launch of its operations in Riyadh, London and Boston.

“We recognize the revolution occurring today in the business world due to artificial intelligence and advanced analytics,” said Sultan Holdings Chairman Naif Bin Sultan Bin Muhammad bin Saud Al Kabeer. “For us, Intelmatix is more than an investment, it is a key strategic step to advance the prospects of AI adoption and enablement in the business sector.”

Intelmatix, founded by MIT graduates, is a pioneer in accessible AI and advanced analytics that deliver technologies that improve operations, productivity, growth, and sustainability for governments and the private sector.

“The Intelmatix team is made of the brightest minds in the region, and they have the ability and vision to make the company a major global AI player,” STV’s founder and CEO, Abdulrahman Tarabzouni said.

Global technology foresight firms report that the revenues from artificial intelligence in the Middle East will exceed SR1 trillion during the next 10 years, half of which is expected to be in the Saudi market, where AI will contribute at least SR500 billion to the Saudi economy by 2030.


Macro Snapshot — Eurozone unemployment falls to record low; UK balance of payments deficit balloons

Macro Snapshot — Eurozone unemployment falls to record low; UK balance of payments deficit balloons
Updated 13 sec ago

Macro Snapshot — Eurozone unemployment falls to record low; UK balance of payments deficit balloons

Macro Snapshot — Eurozone unemployment falls to record low; UK balance of payments deficit balloons

RIYADH: Eurozone unemployment fell to a record low in May as the economy continued to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday that unemployment in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell to 6.6 percent of the workforce in May from a revised 6.7 percent in April.

The 6.6 percent rate is the lowest rate since records dating back to 1998, just before the official launch of the euro in January 1999.

UK balance of payments 

Britain racked up a record shortfall in its current account in early 2022, in part due to the soaring cost of its fuel imports, according to data that officials cautioned could be revised.

The balance of payments deficit — a measure of how much the country relies on money from abroad — ballooned to £51.7 billion ($62.8 billion) or 8.3 percent of gross domestic product between January and March.

Data from the Office for National Statistics also showed the increasing strain on households as their real disposable income shrank for the longest period on record.

Portugal’s inflation rise 

Portuguese consumer prices jumped 8.7 percent year-on-year in June, at their fastest pace since December 1992, up from 8 percent in May, flash data from the National Statistics Institute showed.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 6 percent year-on-year, the fastest rate since May 1994, up from 5.6 percent the previous month.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent pressure on energy and food markets has stoked inflation, which was already accelerating as the global economy reopened after the coronavirus pandemic

Hong Kong retail sales fall 

Hong Kong’s May retail sales fell 1.7 percent from a year earlier after a sharp increase the previous month, government data showed.

Sales eased to HK$29.1 billion ($3.71 billion), having jumped 11.7 percent in April. The government said that over April and May together there was a year-on-year increase of 4.7 percent.

(With input from Reuters) 


Saudi Aramco awards $16m steel pipes deal to homegrown pipe producer

Saudi Aramco awards $16m steel pipes deal to homegrown pipe producer
Updated 2 min 7 sec ago

Saudi Aramco awards $16m steel pipes deal to homegrown pipe producer

Saudi Aramco awards $16m steel pipes deal to homegrown pipe producer

RIYADH: Saudi Steel Pipe Co. has been awarded a deal worth SR58 million ($16 million) for the supply of oil and gas steel pipes to oil giant Aramco.

The contract will be valid for a year, a statement by the pipe manufacturer revealed.

The company expects the transaction to impact its financial statements starting from the last quarter of the year.


Abu Dhabi to allocate $2.7bn to position itself as regional industrial hub  

Abu Dhabi to allocate $2.7bn to position itself as regional industrial hub  
Updated 15 min 24 sec ago

Abu Dhabi to allocate $2.7bn to position itself as regional industrial hub  

Abu Dhabi to allocate $2.7bn to position itself as regional industrial hub  

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi government is planning to invest 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) across six industrial programs as it aims to double the size of the manufacturing sector to 172 billion dirhams by 2031.

It intends to achieve the goal by increasing manufacturers’ access to financing, and improving the ease of doing business while attracting foreign direct investment, the National reported. 

This is being done as part of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy that looks to strengthen the emirate’s position as the region’s competitive industrial hub by 2031. 

Last year, the UAE launched an industrial strategy, named Operation 300 billion, as it seeks to increase the industrial sector’s contribution to the country's gross domestic product to 300 billion dirhams in 2031, up from 133 billion dirhams in 2021. 


OPEC+ sticks to policy, avoids September oil output debate

OPEC+ sticks to policy, avoids September oil output debate
Updated 20 min 56 sec ago

OPEC+ sticks to policy, avoids September oil output debate

OPEC+ sticks to policy, avoids September oil output debate

LONDON, June 30 : The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed on Thursday to stick to earlier approved oil output increases in July and August and refrained from any policy discussions for September, two sources said, according to Reuters.

The decision to stick to the planned increases comes despite calls for bigger increases to tame crude prices.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated concerns about oil supplies, sending prices to record highs this year.

But a respite is not in sight.

In their monthly video conference, which lasted about an hour, the 23 members of OPEC+ agreed to add another 648,000 barrels per day in August, the same as for July.

Analysts had widely expected the move, calling the gathering of the Vienna-based Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their partners a "rubber stamp" meeting.

Jeffrey Halley, analyst at OANDA trading platform, said before the meeting that he did not expect surprises as "OPEC+ can't even meet its present targets, and hasn't for a long time."

The 13 members of OPEC, chaired by Saudi Arabia, and their 10 partners, led by Russia, drastically slashed output in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns sent demand plummeting.

Since last year, they have been gradually increasing output again. In recent months, the United States and other top oil consumers urged OPEC+ to open the tabs more widely.

The group finally decided at its last meeting in early June to add 648,000 barrels per day to the market in July, up from 432,000 in previous months.

But the larger-than-expected boost failed to cool prices.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the international benchmark, Brent North Sea Crude, has added around 17 percent, while the US benchmark WTI has jumped more than 18 percent.

Analysts have warned that only a recession may be able to bring down prices.

"The prices will likely push higher unless the recession fears take the upper hand," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Several OPEC+ members have been failing to meet the output quotas, while Iran and Venezuela -- and now also Russia -- are blocked by sanctions.

The UAE said this week it was close to its oil output ceiling, ahead of a regional visit by US President Joe Biden, who is expected to lobby for increased production.

Biden will visit neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, as part of his tour next month, but analysts doubt it will convince OPEC+ to boost output.

On Monday, at the meeting of the G7 club of industrialised nations in Germany, French President Emmanuel Macron was caught on camera telling Biden details of a conversation with UAE leader Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

According to Macron, Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE was at its "maximum" capacity and Saudi Arabia also faced a limit for raising production.

— With contributions from Reuters and AFP


NRG Matters — UAE emerges as important renewables investor; Germany’s capital region to use hydrogen-powered trains

NRG Matters — UAE emerges as important renewables investor; Germany’s capital region to use hydrogen-powered trains
Updated 31 min 50 sec ago

NRG Matters — UAE emerges as important renewables investor; Germany’s capital region to use hydrogen-powered trains

NRG Matters — UAE emerges as important renewables investor; Germany’s capital region to use hydrogen-powered trains

RIYADH: On a macro level, the UAE is emerging as one of the world’s biggest state investors of clean energy that seeks to become influential in renewables, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Zooming in, TotalEnergies has announced discounts on pump prices at French motorway petrol stations, as the French government seeks to help consumers tackle higher energy costs. 

Looking at the bigger picture

The UAE is emerging as one of the world’s biggest state investors of clean energy that seeks to become influential in renewables, as it currently is in oil and gas, according to a report by WSJ.

As global nations agreed to speed up emissions-cutting plans in November, the UAE has committed $400 million to enable developing countries’ transition to clean energy.

It has also vowed to help supply green electricity to 100 million Africans by 2035, the WSJ report added.

Munich-based railway company Siemens Mobility will build seven hydrogen-powered trains for a network in Germany’s capital region, according to CNBC. 

Operations on the Heidekrautbahn network are planned to start in December 2024, in Germany’s latest move of using hydrogen-based technology in rail transport. 

Through a micro lens:

 Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.'s unit Petrosafe has partnered with US oil company Baker Hughes to use its flare.IQ technology in refinery operations in the north African country.

The technology will help in reducing emissions from oil and gas flaring operations, reported Trade Arabia. 

Italian multinational oilfield services company Saipem has been awarded $1.25 billion onshore and offshore contracts across the Middle East region, the report added.  

TotalEnergies has announced discounts on pump prices at French motorway petrol stations.

The move was a result of pressure from the French government to do more to help consumers tackle higher energy costs, Reuters reported.