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| 24 September, 2017

Saudi Telecom to invest $500mln VC fund in region

Photo used for illustrative purpose. 
A Saudi man looks at his mobile phone in front of a Saudi Telecom sign in Riyadh.

Photo used for illustrative purpose. A Saudi man looks at his mobile phone in front of a Saudi Telecom sign in Riyadh.

REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim

The fund will look into opportunities elsewhere in the region as well

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) will first invest its half-a-billion dollar venture capital fund in the region and then look abroad, its CEO said.

Recently speaking on the sidelines of Telecoms World Middle East 2017 conference in Dubai, Dr Khaled Biyari said the STC is in the process of setting up the company - STC Venture - which will manage the fund for the parent company.

"It is a corporate venture capital fund and we expect to start providing money in the next few months. We will primarily invest in the region, mainly in Saudi Arabia, and then the fund will look into opportunities elsewhere in the region. We'll explore opportunities internationally too," he said.

The telecom giant has also opened an office in Dubai, Biyari said. "Our Dubai office is primarily for wholesale operations and it would look into providing services to global players," he added.

He pointed out that a digital revolution is underway in every sphere of the business and changing its business model. "It took companies 20 years to become billion dollar firms but it's now becoming a reality in four years by just changing business models," he added.

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- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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