Fintech funding in Saudi Arabia continued to grow this year, reaching SAR 1.508 billion ($402 million) from September 2021 to August 2022, up 11% on last year, according to Fintech Saudi’s annual report.

By far the largest funding were secured by fintech and foodtech platform Foodics, which raised SAR 637.5 million, followed by buy now pay later (BNPL) firm Tamara, which raised SAR 375 million and payment company HyperPay, which received SAR 138 million.

The kingdom is now home to 147 active fintechs, compared with 82 in 2021, and up from just 10 in 2018, the report said. 

The growth follows the kingdom’s Fintech Strategy, launched in May, which aims to make Saudi Arabia a leading country in the field of fintech, and Riyadh a global tech hub. The strategy is working towards having 525 fintech companies in the kingdom by 2030.

The amount invested in fintechs since the first recorded investment in Saudi Arabia in 2012 is SAR 4 billion, the report said.

It also showed that 20 funding deals took place between September 2021 and August 2021, with 60% going to early-stage rounds, 10% to Series A and 10% to Series B and above, with 20% undisclosed.

By volume of funds, 7% went to early stage, 11% to Series A, 67% to Series B and above and 15% was undisclosed.

Of the fintech companies active in the kingdom, 87% are based inside the country, 6% in the UAE, 2% in Kuwait, with the UK, India, Jordan, the USA and Bahrain all accounting for 1% each. Riyadh is home to the lion’s share, with 114 fintechs based in the capital city.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)