|12-21-2014, 10:12 PM||#1|
Alkhabeer Capital initiates new fund to invest in Saudi Arabia tech startups
Asset management firm Alkhabeer Capital said on Sunday it will initiate a new venture capital fund that aims to invest in technology startups in Saudi Arabia and in the region, to be called Alkhabeer Ventures.
Alkhabeer ventures will invest in e-commerce, mobile, social media and news media startups, and also has in its mind new technologies such as 3D imaging, the internet of things (IoT) and wearables, the company stated on Sunday.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an energetic, entrepreneurial and inherently ambitious young population with an obvious predisposition to new technologies,” said Khalid Suleimani, head of Alkhabeer Ventures.
However, Alkhabeer did not disclose the size of the fund, but said it will go after companies during their first-round of fundraising, with exits occurring through initial public offerings or trade sales.
“We will invest in, structure and support highly scalable startup businesses by filling the gap between seed and expansion investment stages.”
Saudi Arabia seem to have put its mind on developing a strong startup culture, which could prove highly beneficial in enhancing the kingdom’s worsening employment condition and diversifying the economy.
Alkhabeer joins a number of other companies in Saudi Arabia who have started the quest to capitalize on the massive usage of social media and technology in the kingdom.
Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre, a subsidiary of oil giant Aramco was established in 2011, and has funded around 43 ventures in Saudi Arabia among many sectors including education, manufacturing and technology.
UAE-based online chauffeur-driven car booking startup Careem recently received funding from STC Ventures to help its expansion in the kingdom.
Riyad Capital announced in June it will be launching a $270-million venture capital fund that will target technology startups in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is globally the third-highest in smartphone penetration behind the UAE and South Korea, according to a recent survey by Google.
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