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Saudi Arabia takes the lead as MENA’s VC funding champion, with a record-breaking $446 million invested in H1 2023, fueled by the booming E-Commerce/Retail sector and visionary initiatives.

In a groundbreaking revelation, the “H1 2023 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital Report” has unveiled Saudi Arabia’s meteoric rise as the leading country in the MENA region in terms of venture capital funding. Published by the esteemed venture data platform MAGNiTT and proudly sponsored by SVC (Saudi Venture Capital), the report sheds light on the Kingdom’s impressive achievements in the world of startups and innovation. The report indicates that during the first half of 2023, Saudi Arabia witnessed an awe-inspiring total deployment of $446 million (SAR 1.67 billion) in venture capital funding, firmly establishing itself at the forefront of the regional VC landscape.

What truly sets Saudi Arabia apart is its commanding share of total funding in the MENA region, accounting for a staggering 42% of the capital deployed during H1 2023. This marks a significant increase from the previous year’s 31%, showcasing the Kingdom’s commitment to fostering an environment that nurtures and accelerates innovation. Notably, the Kingdom accomplished a momentous feat in MEGA deal funding, with an impressive $289 million (SAR 1.08 billion) invested across two major deals in the first half of 2023, solidifying its position as a global powerhouse in the realm of venture capital.

When it comes to key sectors driving this surge in funding, the E-Commerce/Retail sector emerges as the undisputed champion. Attracting the highest amount of funding and recording the highest number of deals in the Kingdom during H1 2023, the E-Commerce/Retail sector accounted for an astonishing 83% of the total funding, amassing a jaw-dropping $368 million (SAR 1.38 billion) across 11 deals.

Dr. Nabeel Koshak, the esteemed CEO and Board Member at SVC, expressed his enthusiasm for the Kingdom’s remarkable achievements, attributing Saudi Arabia’s prominence in the VC scene to a well-calibrated synergy of governmental initiatives and dynamic private sector contributions. “The Kingdom’s leading position in the VC scene in the region comes as a result of the many governmental initiatives launched to stimulate the VC and startups ecosystem within the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, in addition to the emergence of active investors from the private sector as well as innovative entrepreneurs,” he remarked.

Underlining SVC’s commitment to fostering a thriving VC ecosystem, Dr. Koshak affirmed, “We at SVC are committed to continue leading the development of the VC ecosystem in Saudi Arabia through stimulating private investors to provide support in turn for startups and SMEs to be capable of fast and high growth, which leads to diversifying the national economy and achieving the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.”

Established in 2018, SVC has played a pivotal role in nurturing the country’s vibrant startup landscape. As a government investment company and a subsidiary of the SME Bank, affiliated with the National Development Fund, SVC has grand plans to further stimulate and sustain financing for startups and SMEs. With a strategic vision in mind, SVC aims to invest a whopping $1.6 billion, not only in funds but also through co-investments in startups, propelling the nation’s journey towards becoming a global innovation hub. To date, SVC has made its mark by investing in 43 funds that, in turn, have been the driving force behind investments in 674 companies through 1,257 transformative deals.

Saudi Arabia’s astounding success in the world of venture capital funding during H1 2023 is a testament to its commitment to the Saudi Vision 2030, a comprehensive blueprint for diversifying the national economy and fostering sustainable growth. As the Kingdom continues to pioneer cutting-edge innovations and attract global investments, it is poised to reshape the region’s entrepreneurial landscape and emerge as a beacon of progress and prosperity in the dynamic world of startups.

Sourced from Saudi Press Agency