Saudi venture capital sector expanding exponentially

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s venture capital landscape continues to grow with its reverberations reaching far continents. 

Global venture capital firms are capitalizing on the Kingdom’s expansive strategy, as evidenced by the state-owned Saudi Venture Capital Co.’s $30 million investment in a US-based investment firm. 

SVC has pledged this significant investment in a private equity fund managed by the renowned US-based investment firm General Atlantic.  

“The investment in the private equity fund by General Atlantic is part of SVC’s Investment in Funds Programme and an implementation of its strategy related to attracting top global fund managers to invest in Saudi-based companies as well as stimulating investment for later stages,” Nabeel Koshak, CEO and Board Member at SVC, commented. 

Established in 1980, General Atlantic boasts a formidable reputation as a global growth equity investor, overseeing a vast portfolio of $84 billion in assets under management.  

Nabeel Koshak, CEO and board member at SVC. (Supplied)

The focus of this venture will be on investing in high-growth, tech-enabled companies within Saudi Arabia.  

The initiative aims to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, particularly in key sectors such as consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, and technology. 

“We are very proud to partner with SVC and broaden our commitment to Saudi Arabia. Vision 2030 sets the stage for a period of dynamic growth and innovation in Saudi Arabia, which will create attractive investment opportunities for our global investors. SVC is a highly strategic investor who will deepen our expertise in this important region,” Bill Ford, Chairman and CEO of General Atlantic, said. 

Saudi Arabia’s WheeKeep secures $8m series A funding 

Saudi Arabian logistics startup WheeKeep raised $8 million in a series A round led by Fintech Collective, with participation from local and international investors.  

Founded in 2020 by Sultan Al-Olayan, Amr Al-Marzouki, and Youssuf Fayez, WheeKeep provides mobile self-storage units for individuals and businesses.  

The new capital will aim to fuel WheeKeep’s expansion plans in Saudi Arabia and beyond. 

Saudi Qsalary partners with Itqan Capital to launch $80m fund  

Saudi HRtech company Qsalary has partnered with Itqan Capital to launch an $80 million investment fund.  

Founded in 2022 by Mohammed Badwi and Amr Abu Shady, Qsalary offers a digital platform for accelerated salary payments.  

The fund aims to provide investment opportunities for investors seeking financial growth. 

Qatari investors commit $20m to MENA Fund I 

Qatari investors are boosting the regional startup landscape with a $20 million commitment to the newly announced MENA Fund I. 

Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital fund founded by Silicon Valley natives, announced its first $100 million MENA fund, with $20 million in commitments from some of Qatar’s most prominent families.  

The anchor investor is the multi-faceted Al Khor Holding, a company with 60 years of heritage. Other notable investors include the Al Attiya Group, widely recognized for its support in developing local businesses, and Sheikh Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani. 

The announcement of the first close of its $100 million MENA Fund I, backed by the pillars of Qatar’s private business community, represents a major step forward in Golden Gate Ventures’ ambitions to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the MENA region.  

The fund combines the aggregate regional influence of its investors with Golden Gate Ventures’ extensive experience in startup ecosystem development across Silicon Valley and Asia.  

MENA Fund I is the first international venture capital fund to be established and managed within Qatar. Michael Lints, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, has moved to Qatar to deepen the firm’s commitment to the MENA region.   

The fund will focus on powering startups in key sectors such as alternative energy, green technology, B2B artificial intelligence, and energy-related deep tech.  

Other strategic sectors that MENA Fund I will cover include fintech, healthtech, and edtech, furthering Qatar’s economic diversification agenda. 

Glint completes first close of its second venture fund at $3 million  

Egypt-based investment firm Glint completed the first close of its second venture fund at $3 million, supported by Wadi Degla Group. 

Glint Fund II, led by Tarek Aboualam and Youssef Helmy Habib, aims to support Egyptian entrepreneurs with early-stage investments ranging from $250,000 to $500,000. 

“Glint’s second fund represents an important step to further develop our ecosystem designed to support Egyptian tech-based startups looking to penetrate the regional and international markets,” said Aboualam. 

UAE’s Property Finder raises $90m debt round to buyout lead investor  

Dubai-based Property Finder secured $90 million in debt from Francisco Partners to finance the buyout of its first institutional investor, BECO Capital.  

The online real estate platform bought back BECO Capital’s stake, which had also invested in ride-hailing app Careem and logistics startup Fetchr.  

Property Finder said the deal allows BECO to exit “with a strong return on its investment,” without providing further details. 

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the real estate market across the entire UAE, not just Dubai,” said Michael Lahyani, CEO and founder of Property Finder. Valued at about $1 billion, the company joins the growing list of Middle Eastern unicorns. 

UAE’s Lune raises $1.5m in seed round  

UAE-based data analysis company Lune has raised $1.5 million in a seed round from Dubai Future District Fund, Plus Venture Capital, Reach International, and Judah Ventures, alongside other family offices and angel investors.  

Founded in 2020 by Helal Tariq and Alexandre Soued, Lune enables financial institutions to turn customer transaction data into valuable insights.  

The funding will support Lune’s regional expansion and product development. 

Egypt’s MNZL raises $3.5m in seed funding  

Egyptian fintech MNZL raised $3.5 million in a Seed round led by P1 Ventures, Localglobe, and Ingressive Capital, with additional support from 500 Startups, Flat6Labs, First Circle Capital, ENZA Capital, Beenok, and other angel investors.  

Founded in 2023 by Sameh Saleh, Ahmed El-Dessouky, and Bassem El-Shaer, MNZL allows users to convert assets like homes and cars into liquidity.  

“By enabling Egyptians to safely harness their own assets—homes or cars—for financial needs, We at MNZL are going beyond a mere adjustment; it’s a complete revolution in credit access. This shift not only empowers families by providing financial leverage but also contributes to broader economic prosperity in the region,” Saleh said. 

The company aims to utilize the new capital to enhance MNZL’s technology and scale operations in Egypt. 

Leave a Comment