Saudi Arabia’s PMI rises for 2nd consecutive month in October amid strong business conditions 

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CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s venture capital landscape has profoundly affected the regional ecosystem, with startups attracting investments from the Kingdom’s speculators.

One of these startups is Emirati-based SpiderSilk, which has raised $9 million from Aramco’s venture capital arm Wa’ed Ventures with participation from Saudi Arabia-based STV and UAE-based Global Ventures.

Founded in 2019 by Rami El-Malak and Mossab Hussein, SpiderSilk will mainly use its funding to expand into the Saudi market by moving its headquarters to the Kingdom.

The company provides organizations with an artificial intelligence-powered cyber defense platform and exposure detection technologies.

Mohammed Al-Dhalaan, co-founder and CEO of Noon

“Although the Gulf Cooperation Council region is an important technology market, little intellectual property is being built in the region for the region and beyond, and we believe that it is increasingly important to achieve self-reliance in this sector for the benefit of the public and private organizations,” El-Malak said.

SpiderSilk will establish its Saudi headquarters in 2024 and aims to generate highly skilled employment in advanced technology sectors, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and research and development.

Aramco Ventures leads $10 million funding round for Singapore’s REDEX

Aramco Ventures, the investment arm of Saudi-based Aramco, has led a $10 million Series A financing round for Singapore’s REDEX, a renewable energy certificate service provider.

The strategic investment is intended to catalyze REDEX’s expansion beyond Asian borders. Notably, the financing round also attracted a diverse group of new backers from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan.

Founded in 2018 by Jen-Wee Kang, REDEX offers a comprehensive suite of REC management solutions.

Saudi EdTech startup Noon raises $41 million in Series B funding

Saudi education technology startup Noon closed a Series B funding round of SR153 million ($41 million), co-led by Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures and RAED Ventures.

Noon offers a peer-to-peer social learning app and plans to use the funding to enable artificial intelligence-powered solutions to further personalize learning experiences.

Our goal is to introduce unparalleled levels of engagement into the classroom while offering students the opportunity to learn from exceptional teachers.

Mohammed Al-DhalanCo-founder and CEO of Noon

“As we expand our presence into physical classrooms, our goal is to introduce unparalleled levels of engagement within the classroom while offering students the opportunity to learn from exceptional educators,” said Mohammed Al-Dhalaan, co-founder and CEO of Noon.

Founded in 2013 by Al-Dhalaan and Abdulaziz Al-Saeed, Noon has gained traction in major markets including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and Pakistan.

The company claims to have more than 12 million registered users, with a goal of expanding that number to 190 million in the aforementioned markets.

Noon also plans to use the capital to fuel its global expansion strategies within the next two to three years.

“We are proud to double our investment in Noon and co-lead the Series B round. The company has built an exceptional platform experience for students and educators that offers new approaches to learning and has demonstrated the ability to scale across markets across multiple regions,” said Omar Al-Majdouie, Founder of Raed Ventures.

Furthermore, Fahad Alidi, managing director at Wa’ed Ventures, expressed confidence in Noon’s position to grow significantly.

“Noon has become one of the few emerging companies making a lasting impact on the regional startup ecosystem by being both a successful business model in a typically challenging sector and a true driver of change,” he said.

Notable investors including SVC, STV and Riyadh Valley Co also participated in the funding round. Other participants included Endeavor, Sanabil 500, Qyem Development Holding and Nahlat Alarab Holding.

Saudi Arabia-based Tabby reaches unicorn status with a new round of funding

Tabby, Saudi Arabia’s ‘buy now, pay later’ platform, has become the first fintech company in the Middle East and North Africa to achieve ‘unicorn’ status after raising $200 million in a series D financing round.

A unicorn rating is achieved when a company reaches a valuation of $1 billion without the need for a stock market listing.

In a press release, the company said its valuation has reached $1.5 billion ahead of its expected IPO in the Kingdom.

The latest funding has strengthened Tabby’s financial position, allowing the company to meet demand for its flagship BNPL solution, which oversees more than $6 billion in annualized transaction volume.

“Tabby started with the goal of reimagining the financial services industry – one that is fair and responsible – and with this investment we can further our mission in Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” said Hosam Arab, CEO and co-founder of the company.

Initially based in the UAE, Tabby recently moved its headquarters to the Kingdom in line with its IPO plans.

Moving to Saudi Arabia was a strategic move for Tabby as 80 percent of its users were from the Kingdom.

The funding was led by Wellington Management, one of the world’s leading independent investment management firms, alongside existing investors such as STV, Mubadala Investment Capital, PayPal Ventures and Arbor Ventures.

Saudi VMS is investing in two Egyptian startups to accelerate their Saudi expansion

Saudi venture studio Value Maker Studio invested in Egypt’s OBM Education and Awfar to accelerate their expansion into the kingdom.

OBM, founded in 2020 by Omar El-Barbary and Ezz El-Din Farag, supports students with career guidance.

Awfar, on the other hand, is a software-as-a-service platform for commercial companies. It was founded in 2020 by Abdelrahman Galal.

Moroccan ORA Technologies raises $1 million in a pre-seed round

Morocco’s super app, ORA Technologies, recently announced the successful closing of a $1 million pre-seed funding round backed by local private investors.

The ORA app was founded in 2023 by Omar Alami, together with six other co-founders, and has a wide range of functionalities.

From facilitating peer-to-peer transactions and hosting an e-commerce platform to offering on-demand services, the platform also integrates chat functionality and social networking features.

In an effort to expand its services, ORA wants to introduce a digital wallet. Since its inception, the app has been downloaded 140,000 times.

Egypt’s Almouneer raises a $3.6 million seed round

Egyptian healthcare startup Almouneer has successfully secured a $3.6 million seed funding round from Global Ventures, Proparco and Digital Africa through the Bridge Fund, and was further supported by Wrightwood Investments, among other international backers.

Founded in 2017 by Noha Khater and Rania Kadry, Almouneer is a digital platform focused on helping patients suffering from chronic diseases.

The money raised will go towards advancing the patient-centric platform for the treatment of pre-diabetes, diabetes and obesity.

UAE Fintech NOW Money closes funding round

UAE-based fintech NOW Money secured an undisclosed funding round led by Dubai entrepreneurs Mark Nutter and Nicolas Andine.

Founded in 2015 by Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd, NOW Money facilitates peer-to-peer money transfers and aims to use the funding to further expand its product offering.

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