A creatives’ marketplace, a quick way to share internet discoveries, and a scalability platform were some of the startups to receive investment from Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm at its final roadshow event in Makkah.
The sixth stop on Wa’ed’s nationwide tour — organized in collaboration with investment joint stock company Wadi Makkah Ventures — welcomed tech-focused startups from different industrial sectors on Dec. 6.
Some SR7.65 million ($2.39 million) were assigned by Wa’ed, including SR75,000 to the first-place winner Slates, a web browser extension that allows people to save, curate, and share their internet discoveries in organized collections with notes in a single URL.
CensorIT, a platform which focuses on increasing efficiency and scalability, was awarded SR50,000, while Naseej Market, a creative online marketplace that connects shoppers with local artists, designers, and small businesses, received SR25,000.
Wa’ed also announced a SR7.5 million venture capital investment in Lamaa, a fintech startup that provides finance solutions for small and medium enterprises.
Fahad Alidi, managing director at Wa’ed, said: “By supporting the most disruptive and tech-focused Saudi-based startups and opening applications to all qualified entrepreneurs, Wa’ed’s Entrepreneurship roadshow represented the ideal platform to showcase emerging innovations led by younger entrepreneurs, and the perfect opportunity for Wa’ed to provide them with the needed financial and entrepreneurial support to grow.”
The latest allocations bring Wa’ed’s total financial support to local entrepreneurs during the roadshow campaign to over SR43.65 million, divided among 28 Saudi entrepreneurs.
Wa’ed was founded in 2011 and has invested over SR400 million in venture capital deals, incubation programs, and loan agreements to empower Saudi entrepreneurs and assist them in leading initiatives that could further pursue the Kingdom’s economic diversification plan.