At Startup Colors, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship has many phases, many colors, and many shades.
At the World Forum of Foreign Direct Investment 2019 in Sydney, we met up with Mohammed Alamro from the General Investment Authority in Saudi Arabia to talk about the startup community in his country.
Have you ever been in Saudi Arabia and know the country? Well, we did not! So here are some important facts:
Did you know?
Saudi Arabia is geographically the 12th largest sovereign state in the world.
Saudi Arabia also has one of the world’s youngest populations; 50 percent of its 33.4 million people are under 25 years old.
10 Saudi startups made it into the ranking of the 100 most promising Arab startups in 2019. Check them out here.
According to the international startup database Tracxn, more than 300 internationally recognizable tech companies have been founded between 2016 and 2019.
Saudia Arabia ranks 80 out of 220 countries based on the strength of its startup ecosystem.
According to official statistics presented for World Entrepreneurship Day, Saudi women now account for 39 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs in the country, going up from 4 percent to 35 percent over the past decade.
Total startup funding in MENA jumped by 31 percent in 2018 from 2017 with a record number of 366 startup deals across the region, amounting to $893m of total investment. While Saudia Arabia ranked no. 2, it does have to watch out! Egypt was the fastest growing ecosystem in 2018 — receiving the 2nd highest number of deals at 22 percent of all deals, up 7 percent from 2017.
The Saudi Vision 2030 pledges to raise the contribution of SMEs to Saudi Arabia’s GDP from 20 percent to 35 percent by 2030.
The most popular startups in Saudi Arabia are Rwaq, Abisayara and Qaym. The most popular industries in Saudi Arabia are Mobile, Social Media and E-Commerce.
Saudia Arabia has big plans! The government has announced plans to create a futuristic $500 billion high-tech megacity, NEOM, with more robots than humans.