13/02/2018 08:02 AST

Saudi startups would have a wide range of financing options as funding volumes in GCC have increased steadily, with a lot of fresh money flowing into seed and early-stage companies.

In an interview, Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir, said financing options for these startups include without limitation Venture Capital firms, angel investors, accelerators, and incubators in addition to new alternatives such as crowd funding or even P2P lending platforms.

“These options encourage startups to adopt new alternatives for providing flexible funding opportunities, thus assisting them in building and developing investment plans, he added.

He recalled that five years ago, the vast majority of startups relied on family, friends and business angels to provide the required capital to launch their startups, “However, these are no longer the only options available to entrepreneurs and investors. Nowadays, the entrepreneurs have greater options and we believe that 2018 will bring even more government funds to the mix, and inject the kind of investments that will kick-start a new wave of growth.”

Excerpts from the interview follow:

• Have you seen the market evolved over the past 12 months with respect to investment in tech startups in Saudi market? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen a boom in tech startup and investor activity over the last year. In addition, several new funds were announced by the Government and VCs that are committed to Saudi young and dynamic technology companies in the market. In fact, the investment landscape in Saudi (Arabia) 1 1has further developed in 2017, and the market has seen intense activities from established and new players alike. We observe more and more competitive deals in seed and series A.

For example, startup Saudi companies incubated by the “Badir” program were able to obtain investments of about $13 million In the first three quarters of 2017 alone which were led by Saudi finance companies and supported by Gulf and regional investment.

Overall, the startup funding market in KSA is changing rapidly and expected to grow remarkably well, with various investors and steadily growing experience.

Saudi Gazette

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