RIYADH: The United Arab Emirates attracted $1.17 billion last year from venture capitalists, double the amount that went to Saudi Arabia, according to a new report from MAGNiTT.
The number of deals both nations attracted last year didn't vary by much with Saudi Arabia recording 139 deals, while the UAE had 155 deals. However, the value of deals in Saudi Arabia was $548 million, the report showed.
The Kingdom came fifth in the emerging venture market after Turkey, UAE, Nigeria, and South Africa, MAGNiTT's report showed.
Saudi Arabia has a goal to raise the contribution of small and medium enterprises to 35 percent of GDP by 2030. Borrowing through Funding Gate, a platform created by Saudi SMEs authority Monsha'at, reached over SR11 billion ($2.93 billion) in 2021 from SAR1.1 billion in 2020, helping Saudi Arabia’s SME ecosystem to contribute the target and achieving a key Vision 2030 objective to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.
The year 2021 saw a record for venture capitalists investing in emerging venture markets across the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.
The deals last year hit $6.8 billion through 1,329 deals, marking a growth of 228 percent in funding and 267 percent in number of deals when compared to 2020, the MAGNiTT's report showed.
The year was also a record for mega deals with 12 mega-deals, those that exceeded $100 million, more than all mega-deals combined between 2016 and 2020. These deals accounted for 42 percent of all capital raised across Emerging Venture Markets in 2021.
Philip Bahoshy, CEO & Founder of MAGNiTT said in a statement: “2021 has in fact been more than just a record-breaking year for VCs, rather it has been a defining year. While the global pandemic posed great pressures on governments, private sectors, and startup ecosystems alike; the year 2021 marked the resurgence of VC activity tenfold.”
MAGNiTT is a data platform founded in 2015 covering venture capital in emerging venture markets.