Riyadh: The "10 Years Saudi Arabia Founders Report" was published today by the MAGNiTT data platform for emerging venture-capital (VC) markets, sponsored by Saudi Venture Capital (SVC). The region's inaugural founder-focused report draws insights on the 400 founders of 200 Saudi startups that raised more than $1M in VC funding between 2014 to 2023.

To shed further light on Saudi startup founders' characteristics and support informed decision-making in the ecosystem, the report underscores the analysis of founders' backgrounds, experiences, and expertise while benchmarking them against global peers.

The report revealed that the 200 most funded Saudi-based startups raised a total of $3.3bn in VC funding from 2014 to 2023. Founder breakdown reveals that 44% of the startups were launched with two founding members, accounting for 53% of the total funding raised. Single-founder startups represented 30% of funded startups, with their share of total funding accounting for only 15%.

According to the report, 36% of the 400 founders had at least 10 years of work experience before founding a startup. Sixty-six percent of the 400 founders were first-time startup founders with only 30% of all founders having prior regional startup experience.

Commenting on the report, SVC chief executive and board member Dr. Nabeel Koshak said, "At SVC, we have witnessed the remarkable growth and dynamism of the Saudi startup landscape. The Kingdom's strategic initiatives, driven by the Saudi Vision 2030, have laid a solid foundation for innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment. As a result, we have seen a surge in startup activity, with a growing number of ambitious founders seizing opportunities and driving innovation across various sectors".

"The report provides deep insights into the founders who have managed to raise venture capital over the last ten years in the Kingdom," Koshak said. "We continue our commitment at SVC to support the development of such reports that provide policymakers, government officials, investors, and founders with insights and data to inform strategic decisions and policies to further nurture the startup ecosystem for the next ten years".

Philip Bahoshy, CEO at MAGNiTT, said, "I'm pleased to announce the inaugural release of the 10-year Saudi Founders Report in our ongoing efforts to foster transparency within Saudi Arabia's venture- and private-capital landscape, in collaboration with SVC. At MAGNiTT, the core focus of our proposition revolves around data, insights, and analysis. We aim to support decision-makers in their policy initiatives through data and insights. There has been an absence of consolidated data on startup founders in the region. So, I'm proud that MAGNiTT is taking the lead in benchmarking the ecosystem and releasing the region's first report on founders. I am confident that this research will prove invaluable for aspiring startups and investors seeking a deeper understanding of the regional landscape."