Saudi companies see venture investment activity in September

Riyadh - Sharikat Mubasher: Saudi firms have taken the venture ecosystem by storm with startup activity dominating activity in recent weeks.

On 14 September, BIM Ventures, the Saudi venture builder, closed an investment round for the National Auction Platform (SoumTech).

A number of investment companies and a group of angel investors from Investors Mine Group participated in the round.

The CEO of SoumTech, Khalid Al-Dossary, said that SoumTech is planning to be the first destination for electronic auctions, adding that the company is a key player in digitizing the real estate auctions.

Founded in March 2023, SoumTech is an online real estate auctioning platform that aims to digitize real estate auctions through providing the auctions on its platform for individuals and corporates.

On 13 September, Ibreez, the Saudi jewelry online platform, secured its first investment funding round to broaden its operations in the Saudi Market, the company announced without revealing any details about the round’s volume and participants. 

The company raised the fund after being incubated by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (i-be) to study and analyze the market as well as potential opportunities, in order to provide products that fulfill the customer’s needs.

The CEO of Ibreez, Iman Al-Jaddou, stated that the funding round reflects the customers’ trust in the platform and its diversified services.

Ibreez, founded in 2022, is a Saudi online platform offering a wide range of jewelry products to meet the different needs of customers. It links customers with jewelry stores through a safe and trusted delivery environment.

On 13 September, Saudi Arabia’s Wa'ed Ventures fund, the venture capital arm of Aramco, co-led a series B funding round worth $52 million, along with BOLD Capital, for the US-based leading construction technology company.

The proceeds will be allocated for manufacturing operations in Saudi Arabia and UAE, in addition to accelerating the development and increasing the production of new homes for the US market.

Founded in 2017, Mighty Buildings is recognized for its work in 3D printing technology to create prefabricated homes that are both environmentally friendly and climate resilient. 

The Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, Fahad Alidi, said: “Our investment in the company reflects our belief that innovative materials, such as those used in Mighty Buildings’ proprietary 3D-printing, will be a major driver for scalability and sustainability of homebuilding in the Gulf Region.”

The investment aligns with Wa’ed Venture’s focus on nurturing technology innovations and adds another layer to Saudi Arabia’s growing interest in sustainable and advanced construction solutions.

Further, the investment round also saw contributions from BOLD Capital, Khosla Ventures, and 15 other new and existing investors.

On 12 September, Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) invested SAR 18.75 million in a fintech fund managed by VentureSouq (VSQ), mainly targeting early-stage fintech startups.

The subscription agreement was signed by Nabeel Koshak, the CEO and Board Member at SVC, and Maan Eshgi, the General Partner at VSQ, in attendance of a panel of officials from both companies.

“The investment in the fintech fund by VSQ is part of SVC’s Investment in Funds Program to support the development of the VC ecosystem in Saudi Arabia for all sectors and stages,” Koshak said.

“This investment also comes to foster the growth witnessed recently by the fintech sector, which made it at the forefront of the venture capital scene in Saudi Arabia in 2022 in terms of the number of deals and value of investment,” he added.

In addition, Eshgi cited Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the Middle East and North Africa region in fintech innovation, particularly in emerging technologies like web3, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

Established in 2018, SVC is a government investment arm affiliated with the SME Bank and the National Development Fund.  It aims to facilitate financing for startups and SMEs across various stages of growth by investing $2 billion in funds and co-investments. 

To date, SVC has invested in 43 funds, which have subsequently invested in over 700 companies.

on 12 September, Equiptal, a logistics startup based in Saudi Arabia, has raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Plug and Play Middle East, along with participation from angel investors. 

The fresh capital will primarily be used to expand the startup’s team and increase its market presence in Saudi Arabia. 

The company aims to address specific pain points in the construction industry, particularly challenges in sourcing machinery for both short and long-term rentals. 

Since its inception last year, the startup has onboarded 700 suppliers and currently serves around 100 contractors.

On 11 September, Saudi-based online marketplace Barakah has successfully completed a seed funding round, raising $1.5 million.

The startup focuses on helping food retailers manage their surplus inventory, claiming to have saved over 100,000 meals from going to waste in a 10-month period.

The round was led by Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, with the participation of other investors including 500 Global, +VC, KAUST Innovation Ventures, Annex Investments, and strategic angel investors.

The funding aims to enhance Barakah’s existing operations and facilitate its planned expansion into additional major cities in Saudi Arabia beyond its current markets of Riyadh and Jeddah.

Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the CEO of Barakah, said: “We've created a platform where excess inventory transforms into a viable business opportunity. Our partners gain a valuable solution to drive revenue and operational efficiency, while our customers enjoy fresh meals and products at unmatched prices.”

For his part, Ivo Detelinov, general partner of Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, noted that the investment aligns with their interest in startups that address challenges like food waste. 


Contribution Time: 18-Sep-2023 11:54 (GMT)
Last Update Time: 18-Sep-2023 12:02 (GMT)