LEAP loves startups. In fact, we’re going to spend a bit of time on the blog talking about the startups that won our Rocket Fuel Competition in 2022 and 2023 – so you can find out where they are now.
But before we do that, we thought we’d look at some of the top tech startups in Saudi Arabia. Who are they, what are they doing, and how are they helping to transform the region?
Data from dealroom.co suggests that fintech, foodtech, and transport startups have generated the most VC investment in Saudi Arabia since 2018. And according to the global startup ecosystem map StartupBlink, Saudi Arabia’s startup scene is best represented in the transport, hardware and IoT, and e-commerce and retail sectors.
But groundbreaking startups are appearing in other sectors too; motivated by the growth in international investment interest and government support for fledgling companies that will help KSA on its journey to a diversified and sustainable economy.
Change-making tech startups in Saudi Arabia
- Tamara. A Saudi-born buy-now-pay-later fintech startup that provides interest-free split payments to local consumers in KSA and the GCC – founded by serial entrepreneur Abdulmajeed Alsukhan.
- Sary. Based in Riyadh, this digital B2B marketplace has raised over USD $1 million in funding, connecting wholesalers and brands to enable businesses to shop for the goods and services they need.
- Qawafel. Another B2B online marketplace (this one in the F&B market), KSA-based Qawafel raised USD $3 million seed funding in 2022. With a focus on connecting wholesalers with store owners, it provides those businesses with the retail partnerships to boost their businesses – in an effortless way.
- Eden GeoTech. Founded by former Saudi Aramco geoscientist Ammar Alali, Eden Geotech is developing technology to combat the hazardous chemical content of water that has been used to hydraulically fracture rock – by replacing hydraulic fracturing with a cleaner, waterless method.
The startup’s Pulse Electric Reservoir Stimulation tech leverages electrical energy to heat a reservoir, induce thermal stress, and cause a rock to fracture.
- NOMADD. Developing fully autonomous waterless robotic cleaning technology – designed, developed, and tested in Saudi Arabia’s desert conditions.
The goal? To make sure solar generators can thrive – technically and commercially – in harsh terrains.
- Madark. An education fintech startup (which just raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Lean Node) which specifically offers financing solutions for annual tuition fees for schools and universities, with no interest.
This makes paid education opportunities more accessible, with less stress – boosting learning opportunities for local students.
And these are just a few of many
The value of Saudi Arabia's startup ecosystem reached over USD $11 billion in 2022 – and it’s growing. In 2022 alone, KSA-based startups raised $972 million in funding – a 1.5X increase on the previous year.
As the Saudi tech sector emerges as one to watch, investors from around the world are turning their attention to local entrepreneurs.
We can’t wait to meet more Saudi Arabia startup founders at LEAP 2024 – and connect them with their ideal mentors, partners, and investors.
Will we see you there?