Saudi Arabia’s startup landscape set to be catapulted by PIF’s Jada

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia̵7;s startup landscape has received a significant push after a subsidiary of the kingdom’s public investment fund committed to investing in several venture capital vehicles.

PIF’s Jada Fund of Funds Co. Bahrain-based Investcorp plans to invest an undisclosed amount in $500 million Saudi pre-initial public offering Growth Fund.

The investment vehicle is specifically focused on supporting a diverse range of companies based in Saudi Arabia during their pre-IPO phase.

Launched last year, this growth fund aims to invest in a diversified portfolio of fast-growing startups looking to go public.

“One of Jada’s primary goals is to support the development of the local private equity ecosystem, and we look forward to seeing Investcorp’s Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund playing an influential role in subsidiaries across the Kingdom, which have Strong growth trajectory and potential. “Strengthen the wider small and medium enterprise community,” said Bandra Al-Homali, CEO of Jaidah Fund of Funds Company.

Last August, Investcorp led a $100 million pre-IPO funding round in TruKKer, a Saudi-based trucking marketplace with more than 45,000 trucks on its platform.

Jada’s commitment to the Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Fund marks the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership, as Investcorp continues to grow its assets under management across multiple asset classes in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s startup investment landscape has experienced remarkable growth and transformation in recent years, largely driven by government initiatives.

PIF has allocated significant funds to invest in promising startups, promote their growth and expansion.

Jada has also participated in a joint fund between Saudi Arabia and South Korea to invest in startups from both countries.

The joint fund comes under an agreement between South Korea and Saudi Arabia for investment cooperation and startup support, which was signed in November last year during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It was initially set up with an injection of $10 million into an existing fund of $150 million, with Saudi Arabia being a major investor. Wamda reported that an additional $160 million was raised on Wednesday with participation from Saudi Venture Investment and JADA.

Launched in late 2019, JADA is a $1.07 billion fund that targets investments in startups, venture capital funds and private equity funds.

Saudi VC Naama Ventures leads another cross-border funding round

Nama Ventures, a Saudi Arabian venture capital firm, led a pre-seed funding round for Nigeria-based logistics startup Messenger, Wamda reported.

The firm also participated in a $3.6 million funding round for Nigerian customer engagement solutions provider Termi.

Founded in 2018 by Amanda Etuk and Essein Etuk, Messenger seeks to digitize the retail supply chain in Nigeria through its end-to-end logistics platform.

The company claims to have processed 700,000 deliveries for its customers which include Jumia Food, Omnibiz, DHL, Glovo and Shopex TV. Messenger plans to acquire 100,000 new customers over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, Termii provides a communication platform that helps over 9,000 fintech companies communicate with their customers.

Founded in 2017, Termii is backed by startup accelerator Y-Combinator, along with investors including Fintech Collective, Launch Africa Ventures Addie Ventures, and RallyCap Ventures, as well as Now Venture Partners, Huge Valued Ventures, and Nama Ventures.

Egypt’s market for trucks raises $3.5m

Egypt’s Uber for trucks Trella has closed a $3.5 million funding round from newly launched private equity fund Avanz Capital Egypt.

Founded in 2018, Trella connects shippers with trucks in real time and operates in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt.

Avange Capital Fund, launched in 2022, is a subsidiary of Squared Capital International, and manages a couple of funds – one focused on investing in startups and SMEs, and another aimed at supporting low-carbon projects

MENA startup funding boomed in May after a major slump in April The Middle East and North Africa region saw a sharp slowdown in startup funding in April, with only $7 million raised for the entire month, but investments of $445 million in May managed to bounce back with 39 deals.

According to Wamda’s monthly startup funding report, the UAE led May’s funding growth in a big way with $422 million in buy now, pay later giant Tabi’s $350 million debt funding round.

Qatar took second place for the first time, raising $12 million through superapp Snoooo. Saudi Arabia raised $6 million across 15 deals.

Excluding Tabi’s loan round, total funding in the region dropped to $95 million, in which the United Arab Emirates contributed $71.6 million.

Saudi Arabia gained ground in terms of deal count, driven by the graduation of seven local startups from the renowned Flat6labs Riyadh accelerator program.