Saudi Arabia’s venture capital sector is expanding to grow

According to Bloomberg, Plug and Play Tech Center, an investor based in Silicon Valley known for its early investments in successful companies like Dropbox and PayPal, is planning to raise $100 million to support startups in Saudi Arabia. The firm is currently in talks with Jada, a $1 billion fund of funds established by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, to collaborate on this initiative. Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play’s founder and CEO stated that the fund is expected to launch in January. Plug and Play will contribute up to 10 percent of the total amount, while the remaining funds will be raised from Saudi funds and family offices.

Amidi highlighted that the recent enhanced caliber of Saudi startups drives Plug and Play’s choice to create the fund. He further stated that the company’s dedication to upholding rigorous standards will remain steadfast, irrespective of the location. Saudi Arabia actively promotes entrepreneurship and the venture capital sector as part of its initiatives to diversify its oil-reliant economy and foster job opportunities in the private sector. For instance, Jada previously backed a Middle East fund worth $50 million, managed by Hambro Perks Ltd, in 2021.

With its existing portfolio of five funds amounting to $500 million, Plug and Play has set its sights on expanding its reach by establishing an additional five funds. This strategic move will create new avenues for investment and present growth opportunities.

The entry of Plug and Play into the Saudi market highlights the country’s startup ecosystem’s growing allure and reinforces its potential as a center for innovation and technological progress.

Through fostering collaboration between Plug and Play and Saudi tech startups, this venture aims to accelerate the growth of the startup ecosystem in the Kingdom. Doing so will contribute to bolstering the economy and driving job creation. This effort aligns with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversification and technological advancement.

SVC has made a $30 million investment in the Bedaya Fund II, managed by Shorooq Partners.

Saudi Venture Capital has invested $30 million in the newly launched Bedaya Fund II by Shorooq Partners. The fund, totaling $150 million, focuses on supporting startups in sectors like fintech, software, platform verticals, and digital assets. This investment follows SVC’s previous commitment of $7. 5 million to the Endeavor Catalyst fund in May. These strategic investments highlight SVC’s commitment to nurturing the growth and advancement of the startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

SVC aims to contribute to the success of innovative startups and promote economic diversification in the Kingdom by offering significant financial support to initiatives such as the Bedaya Fund II. Nabeel Koshak, CEO and board member at SVC, and Mahmoud Adi, founding partner at Shorooq Partners, signed the investment agreement. The signing ceremony was attended by notable figures, including Yousef Al-Benyan, chairman of the SME Bank, and Abdulrahman Mansour, acting CEO of the SME Bank. SVC is committed to providing financing from the pre-seed to pre-initial public offering stages, with a total investment capital of $1.6  billion. To date, SVC has successfully invested in 38 funds, which have supported 674 companies through 1,257 deals.

Agel intends to utilize the recently acquired funds to secure a non-banking financial institution license, enhance its product portfolio, and accelerate its expansion efforts throughout Egypt.

Additionally, Agel is preparing to introduce a co-branded banking card service in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, primarily targeting merchants’ requirements.

Through this collaborative endeavor, Agel seeks to extend its market presence and deliver comprehensive financial solutions to a broader range of customers.

TFK, an Egyptian fashion e-commerce company, has completed the acquisition of OPIO.

The Fashion Kingdom, an Egyptian fashion e-commerce marketplace, has recently finalized its acquisition of OPIO, a direct-to-consumer fashion brand. The specific financial terms of the agreement have yet to be disclosed.

TFK, established in 2020 by Marianne Simaika, Fadi Antaki, and Karim Abdel Kader, provides its brands with a comprehensive range of support services, including manufacturing, operations, marketing, and content creation. With a scalable technology infrastructure, TFK empowers its partner brands to thrive in the highly competitive fashion industry.

The acquisition of OPIO is a strategic maneuver for TFK, aligning with its vision to establish a venture known as THE FASHION KINGDOM, which aims to create an all-in-one fashion aggregator and venture builder. By collaborating with OPIO, the combined entity can offer enhanced products and experiences to fashion-conscious consumers in the region.

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