Saudi Arabian Startups Secure Millions in Funding, Including Tabby Becoming MENA’s First Unicorn
Saudi Arabian startups have recently secured significant investments, highlighting the growing strength of the region’s venture capital landscape. One of these startups is Emirati-based SpiderSilk, which raised $9 million from Aramco’s venture capital arm, Wa’ed Ventures, with participation from Saudi-based STV and the UAE’s Global Ventures. SpiderSilk, founded in 2019, offers organizations an artificial intelligence-powered cyber defense platform and exposure detection technologies. With its new funding, SpiderSilk plans to expand to the Saudi market by relocating its headquarters to the Kingdom, generating employment opportunities in advanced technology sectors like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
Another notable funding round involved Aramco Ventures, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, leading a $10 million series A funding round for Singapore’s REDEX, a renewable energy certificate service provider. The investment aims to support REDEX’s expansion beyond Asian borders, attracting diverse investors from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Japan. REDEX offers comprehensive REC management solutions and has the potential to make a significant impact in the renewable energy sector.
In the education technology sector, Saudi Arabia’s startup Noon closed a $41 million series B funding round 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 further personalize its learning experiences through AI-powered solutions. With its presence in large markets such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and Pakistan, Noon aims to expand and reach 190 million registered users across these markets. The funding round saw participation from notable investors, including SVC, STV, and Riyadh Valley Co.
Amidst these funding rounds, Saudi Arabia’s buy now, pay later platform, Tabby, has achieved unicorn status, becoming the first fintech firm in the Middle East and North Africa to be valued at $1 billion. Tabby secured $200 million in a series D funding round, boosting its financial standing ahead of its anticipated initial public offering in the Kingdom. The funding will help Tabby meet the demand for its buy now, pay later solution, which oversees over $6 billion in annualized transaction volume. Well-known investment firm Wellington Management led the funding, along with existing investors such as STV, Mubadala Investment Capital, PayPal Ventures, and Arbor Ventures.
Saudi Arabia’s venture studio Value Maker Studio also made investments, supporting Egypt’s OBM Education and Awfar to accelerate their expansion into the Kingdom. OBM offers career guidance to students, while Awfar is a software as a service platform for commerce businesses. Their entry into the Saudi market will provide opportunities for growth and collaboration.
In other investment news, Morocco’s ORA Technologies raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round. ORA is a homegrown super app that provides various services such as peer-to-peer transactions, an e-commerce platform, on-demand services, chat functionality, and social networking features. The funding will assist ORA in introducing a digital wallet and expanding its services.
Egyptian healthtech startup, Almouneer, successfully secured a $3.6 million seed funding round. The platform offers digital assistance to patients suffering from chronic illnesses like pre-diabetes, diabetes, and obesity. The funds will be used to enhance the patient-focused platform and bring innovative solutions to the healthcare sector.
Additionally, UAE-based fintech NOW Money closed an undisclosed funding round led by Dubai entrepreneurs Mark Nutter and Nicolas Andine. NOW Money facilitates peer-to-peer remittances and aims to expand its product offering with the new funding.
Overall, these funding rounds highlight the increasing confidence in Saudi Arabian startups and the region’s potential for innovation and growth. With significant investments in various sectors like cybersecurity, renewable energy, education technology, and fintech, these startups are set to make a notable impact in their respective industries while driving economic development and job creation in the region.