Saudi Venture Capital Co. funded 75 companies with no failures, CEO says

Saudi Venture Capital Co. funded 75 companies with no failures, CEO says
SVC was founded in 2018 by Moshaat, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 06 August 2021

Saudi Venture Capital Co. funded 75 companies with no failures, CEO says

Saudi Venture Capital Co. funded 75 companies with no failures, CEO says
  • SVC has SR2.8 billion ($750 million) to invest and has deployed SR1 billion thus far: CEO Nabeel Koshak
  • The company is currently focusing on sectors that lack funding, such as the health and industrial sector: Koshak

RIYADH: Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) has funded 75 startups since its inception by in 2018 and none of them have failed, CEO Nabeel Koshak told Asharq.

SVC has SR2.8 billion ($750 million) to invest and has deployed SR1 billion thus far, he said.

The company is currently focusing on sectors that lack funding, such as the health and industrial sector, Koshak said, adding that the company seeks to fill the financing market gaps.

There is not a single company that has reached the point of failure among the startup companies funded by SVC, and it is too early to assess the failure, said Koshak, adding that it is normal for failures to reach 50 percent.

The government VC was established as part of the Private Sector Stimulus Program (PSS) to stimulate venture investments by investing in funds as well as co-investing with angel groups for the primary goal of minimizing equity financing gaps for startups and SMEs.

A recent report by SVC and MAGNitt has revealed that the Kingdom observed a 65 percent growth in VC funding year-on-year and climbed a rank to become the second-largest ecosystem behind the UAE.

Saudi Arabia has achieved a healthier fund distribution where the top 5 deals accounted for 47 percent of all funds raised in the first half of the year. Closed deals included B2B marketplace Sary, Foodics, Red Sea Farms, Azom and the shari’ah compliant Fintech Lendo.


300-fold hike in mobile data traffic over 10 years: Ericsson

300-fold hike in mobile data traffic over 10 years: Ericsson
Updated 12 sec ago

300-fold hike in mobile data traffic over 10 years: Ericsson

300-fold hike in mobile data traffic over 10 years: Ericsson

RIYADH: The telecommunication company Ericsson revealed an almost 300-fold increase in mobile data traffic over the past ten years in its November mobility report. 

The report examines the key trends that shaped the last decade and reveals its forecasts toward 2027. 

Mobile network data traffic increased by 42 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021. 

5G mobile is expected to reach around 660 million subscriptions by the end of 2021, with a stronger demand in China and North America due to declining prices of compatible devices.  

The forecasts show that 5G is predicted to amount to around 50 percent of global mobile subscriptions by 2027, carrying 62 percent of the worldwide smartphone traffic. 

“When we look ahead to 2027, mobile networks will be more integral than ever to how we interact, live and work,” Ericsson’s Executive Vice President and Head of Networks Fredrik Jejdling said. 

“Our latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that the pace of change is accelerating, with technology playing a crucial role,” he added.


NADEC consortium completes Second Milling Company acquisition

NADEC consortium completes Second Milling Company acquisition
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 17 min 35 sec ago

NADEC consortium completes Second Milling Company acquisition

NADEC consortium completes Second Milling Company acquisition
  • All assets of the Second Milling Company were transferred to the Food Security Holding Company

RIYADH: The National Agricultural Development Company, NADEC completed the acquisition of Second Milling Company in Riyadh.

NADEC was part of a consortium with Olam International Group, Al Rajhi International Investment Company Ajlan & Bros Company, according to a bourse filing,

All assets of the Second Milling Company were transferred to the Food Security Holding Company, a limited liability company, the company said in a statement on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

This comes as the Kingdom is accelerating plans to privatize key infrastructure.


NADEC owns a 10 percent minority stake with liability in an agreement governing its purchase of specific products from the Second Milling Company.

NADEC will also provide management, marketing and support services to the Second Milling Company.


Egyptian fintech Raseedi raises $850k in pre-Series A round

Egyptian fintech Raseedi raises $850k in pre-Series A round
Updated 23 min 42 sec ago

Egyptian fintech Raseedi raises $850k in pre-Series A round

Egyptian fintech Raseedi raises $850k in pre-Series A round

RIYADH: Raseedi has secured $850,000 in a pre-Series A round from the Japanese venture capital firm Samurai Incubate and an European investor, Wamda reported. 

The Cairo-based fintech, founded in 2018, helps dual SIM smartphone users in Egypt to optimize their telecom spending through its mobile app. 

“We’ve always been a super lean tech startup. We only spend on people and tech, never on assets or operations. Our goal is to create this daily product that relies completely on technology with zero dependency on any on-ground operation,” Raseedi’s co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Samuel Samy said. 

“It’s been going great for us with 13,000 reviews of 4.3 stars on the Google Play store, yet the bigger challenge comes with our next scaling milestone, 100 million monthly visits from 1m monthly active users,” he added. 


S&P Global introduces a new national credit rating scale for Saudi Arabia

S&P Global introduces a new national credit rating scale for Saudi Arabia
Updated 40 min 4 sec ago

S&P Global introduces a new national credit rating scale for Saudi Arabia

S&P Global introduces a new national credit rating scale for Saudi Arabia

S&P Global Ratings has established a national credit rating scale for Saudi Arabia in response to a growing interest in the Kingdom’s local currency debt markets.

The new assessment scheme will help identify the creditworthiness of local loan takers, and comes as Saudi Arabia pursues policies of economic diversification and private sector strengthening as part of Vision 2030.

The agency said the rating scale will be complementary to the one used globally, with the methodology “generally the same” as the international-focused system.

The highest rating in the Saudi scale is ksaAAA, equivalent to ‘A- and above’ in the global scale, and reflects “extremely strong capacity to meet [...] financial commitments relative to that of other national obligors.”


Oil rises 1 percent ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud

Oil rises 1 percent ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 56 min 23 sec ago

Oil rises 1 percent ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud

Oil rises 1 percent ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud
  • A Reuters survey found OPEC pumped 27.74 million bpd in November, up 220,000 bpd from the previous month

Oil prices clawed back some losses on Wednesday after steep falls in the previous session, as major producers prepared to discuss how to respond to the threat of a hit to fuel demand from the Omicron variant.


US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 78 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $66.96 a barrel at 0122 GMT, after a 5.4 percent drop on Tuesday.


Brent crude futures gained $1.01, or 1.5 percent, to $70.24 a barrel, after a 3.9 percent slump on Tuesday.


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet on Wednesday after 1300 GMT ahead of a meeting on Thursday of OPEC+, which includes OPEC and allies including Russia.


While some analysts expect OPEC+ will pause plans to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January in light of the potential hit to demand from travel curbs to rein in the spread of the Omicron variant, several OPEC+ ministers have said there was no need to change course.


“The market continues to look for signs of any impact of Omicron on demand,” ANZ Research commodity analysts said in a note.


Even if OPEC+ agrees to go ahead with its planned supply increase in January, producers may struggle to add that much.


A Reuters survey found OPEC pumped 27.74 million bpd in November, up 220,000 bpd from the previous month, but that was below the 254,000 bpd increase allowed for OPEC members under the OPEC+ agreement.


In a bearish sign on demand, data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed US crude stocks fell by 747,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 26, according to market sources, which was a smaller decline than expected.


Ten analysts polled by Reuters were expecting crude stockpiles to fall by about 1.2 million barrels.


At the same time, gasoline inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels compared with analysts’ forecasts for no change, while distillate stocks rose by 789,000 barrels, which was a bigger build than analysts had expected.