Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco, has dedicated a total financial aid of SAR 6.9 million to three Saudi-based startups, as the centre concludes its fourth roadshow stop in Riyadh after successfully completing its three previous stops in Jubail, Yanbu, and Jeddah over the last two months.
The investment was divided between two seed-stage grants to be deployed after completing a final onboarding process and a single venture capital investment in a Saudi-based company. This reflects the unwavering commitment that Wa’ed has been upholding throughout the roadshow to fuel the development of the local startup ecosystem.
Organized in partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), the event featured three of the most promising startup sectors in the Saudi entrepreneurial space — E-commerce, Cyber Security, and Healthtech — and saw participation from a number of innovative Saudi entrepreneurs.
As with previous roadshow events, the awards were presented after the Wa’ed team conducted a short follow-on voting round to reach a unanimous decision on the qualified startups. The votes took into consideration the founding team’s experience, the addressable market opportunity, and the overall product competitiveness in the Kingdom.
“We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic pushed all three sectors, e-commerce, health-tech, and cyber security, to the forefront of every startup ecosystem both regionally and globally, and we were eager to reaffirm our responsibility at Wa’ed towards sustaining the long-term growth of these sectors,” said Fahad Alidi, Managing Director at Wa’ed.
Wa’ed initiated the event by announcing its SAR 6.7 million venture capital investment in the Saudi-based health-tech Cura, which was part of the startup’s SAR 15 million Series A round led by Wa’ed and Elm, the investment arm of the Saudi Ministry of Finance.
Established in 2016 by Wael Kabli and Mohammad Zekrallah, Cura became the first officially licensed telemedicine company by the Ministry of Health following its close collaborative work with the ministry in 2017 to digitize the health sector in the Kingdom. The startup offers on-demand health and wellness programs, including e-prescriptions and real-time messaging with health professionals, for both individual customers and partnering business clients.
For seed grants, Wa’ed also recommended a SAR 75,000 to Muktasar, a Saudi-based global edtech platform offering summaries of international books, and a SAR 50,000 to Spectra, the first Saudi telemedicine startup specialized in addressing and virtually diagnosing developmental and behavioural disorders in children.
The search for original market solutions and visionary tech-focused startups will continue in the next two months when Wa’ed plans to hold its final stops in Madinah on November 11 and Makkah on December 6 to explore local startup engagements in the tourism and hospitality, supply chain management, and tech sectors.
Wa’ed’s role in accelerating Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been consistently dynamic since its establishment in 2011, issuing over SAR 400 million in various financial support plans to Saudi-based startups that fill critical market gaps in the Saudi economy.
Applications for the Wa’ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow are open to entrepreneurs until December. For more information or to apply, see: https://waed.net/roadshow
Wa’ed is the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco and the largest and most active institutional venture capital investor for Saudi-based startups, providing end-to-end support in mentoring, incubation, loan financing, and venture capital investment. Established by Saudi Aramco in 2011 to harness the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial spirit, Wa’ed is an essential enabler of new business growth and economic diversification through its loan financing activities and Wa’ed Ventures VC arm, which oversees a $200 million investment fund and a portfolio of 30+ Saudi-based companies. Based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Wa’ed is a fully owned venture of Saudi Aramco. www.waed.net
About Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at)
The General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises “Monsha’at” was established in 2016 to organize, support, develop and sponsor the SME sector in accordance with best global practices, to increase the productivity of these enterprises and increase their contribution to the GDP from 20% to 35% by 2030. Monsha’at works on supporting, developing and nurturing the SME sector in line with best global practices by implementing and supporting programs and projects to promote the cultural and spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and diversifying sources of financial support for SMEs, and stimulating venture capital initiatives, setting policies and standards for financing projects classified as small and medium enterprises. For more information: https://www.monshaat.gov.sa/en
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© Press Release 2021
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