RIYADH: In line with the Kingdom’s aim to accelerate digital transformation, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, announced a strategic partnership with Zoom and an increase in funding for Wa’ed Ventures on Feb. 6.
The announcements were made at the second edition of LEAP, a major international technology conference held annually in Saudi Arabia.
With more than 700 speakers from 50 counties and 900 local and international companies in attendance at the Riyadh Front Center for Exhibitions and Conventions, this year’s edition of LEAP represents a huge economic advance in the Kingdom through many partnerships, deals and investment tours.
The strategic partnership with Aramco aims to build Zoom’s first global data center in the Kingdom to support the digital transformation ecosystem.
It is expected to connect to the Zoom global data center network and will serve Saudi Arabia and the region.
The two companies will also explore the joint development of innovative technology solutions for the energy sector.
The partnership aims to contribute to the digital transformation of various market sectors, such as energy, industry, education and healthcare.
Aramco also announced that additional funds had been allocated by the company to Wa’ed Ventures, increasing the size of its Kingdom-focused venture capital arm from $200 million to $500 million.
The increase aims to enable the company to deliver an accelerated investment performance regionally and globally.
Wa’ed Ventures intends to localize global frontier technologies to advance the Kingdom’s innovation ecosystem; expand investments in mid and growth-stage startups; and fund underserved domains such as environmental, social and governance, the metaverse and quantum computing.
Amin Nasser, Aramco’s president and CEO, said: “Our establishment of a diversified network of partners has helped us maintain a track record of reliability, and our new strategic partnership with Zoom is expected to further enable innovative solutions focusing on the digital transformation ecosystem.”
“Furthermore, with an expanded fund size, Wa’ed Ventures aims to facilitate the cross-pollination of innovation between the global and local markets,” he added.