DUBAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Saudi Telecom Company (STC) said on Wednesday it had committed an additional $300 million to Saudi venture capital firm STV on top of an earlier $500 million investment.
The new funding will be used “to further fuel STV’s mission of backing and scaling the region’s digital champions,” said STC, which is 64% owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund.
STV’s founder and chief executive Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, who was a Google executive for seven years until 2016, said the firm was “proud of stc’s vote of confidence by doubling down on STV.”
“We believe the region has reached an upward tipping point and has emerged as one of the most attractive regions globally for venture investments,” he said.
STV was set up in 2018 and STC provided its entire $500 million capital. The telecom company said “STV drove almost 60% of VC deployment in Saudi Arabia” this year and created thousands of jobs and “millions of gig jobs”.
The Middle East and North Africa had $2.6 billion in venture capital funding last year, a record, according to MAGNiTT, which captures data on startups and fundraising in the region.
STC said the venture capital market in Saudi Arabia grew 244% to $584 million in the first half of 2022, compared to the same period of 2021.
Reporting by Yousef Saba
Editing by Tomasz Janowski
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