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Investment in Saudi startups in 2022 nears $1 billion

Venture capital continues to grow in Saudi Arabia, according to a report released Wednesday. 

The data analytics platform MAGNiTT said there was $987 million invested in Saudi startups in 2022. This was the most ever and constituted a 72% increase from 2021.The number of newly registered investors in Saudi Arabia last year was 104, which was an increase of 30% from 2021, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday. 

MAGNiTT is supported by the Saudi Venture Capital Company, according to the agency. The firm is based in Dubai. 

The report noted increased investment throughout the Middle East and North Africa. There was more than $3 billion in venture capital investment in the region in 2022, up from $2.9 billion the year prior. 

The United Arab Emirates is widely considered the largest venture capital market in the Middle East. MAGNiTT said that Saudi Arabia is second. 

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia has had some success in building up its startup community. Venture capital investment in the kingdom targets a variety of sectors, including e-commerce, health, artificial intelligence and financial technology, aka fintech. 

Most recently, the Saudi Finance Ministry granted in November licenses to two artificial intelligence companies to operate in the kingdom.

Know more: Saudi Arabia’s fintech sector has enormous potential due to its young population and recently installed regulatory frameworks for the sector. Finding skillful talent is a major challenge, however, Hassan Jivraj wrote for Al-Monitor in October. 

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