Key Milestones in Saudi Arabia’s Start-up Ecosystem
Key Milestones in Saudi Arabia’s Start-up Ecosystem
Published date : 24 March 2023

Key Milestones in Saudi Arabia’s Start-up Ecosystem

Internet first came to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

KAUST Innovation Fund launched, out of the KAUST Centre for Entrepreneurship
Electronic Transaction Law allows for digital signatures 

Wa’ed Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center created

Saudi’s Internet Penetration Rate is 54%

Wa'ed Ventures, Aramco's Corporate VC arm is launched

Raed Ventures, one of the first private Venture Capital firms is established

Launch of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030
Saudi Arabia’s Internet Penetration Rate grows to reach 75%
Monsha’at, (General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises) is established 

Fund of Funds, Jada, is launched with US $1 Billion to deploy
Saudi Venture Capital & Private Equity Association is launched
Saudi startups raise $53M
Fintech Saudi is launched to support the development of the Fintech sector
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) issues its first testing permits for its Fintech Lab

The Central Bank accepted its first cohort for its Regulatory Sandbox
Fund of Funds, Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) is established
Saudi Payments Company is launched to manage all digital payments infrastructure in the Kingdom
Saudi E-Commerce Law is issued to govern e-commerce activities in the Kingdom
The National Competitiveness Centre, Tayseer, was established
New regulatory guidance provided, including new robo-advisory permits, and new microfinance regulations, and a cloud-first policy for government

Saudi Startups fundraise $324M
Payment Service Provider Regulations (PSP) were introduced by the Central Bank (SAMA) to regulate PSP and digital payments operators in the kingdom
Saudi Central Bank uses blockchain for money transfer for the first time
DEEM, the largest government data cloud in MENA was launched by the Saudi Data & Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), to be made available for Saudi start-ups
New regulatory guidance provided, including new insurance aggregate regulations, and new digital bank guidelines, a digital economy policy
Saudi Arabia’s Internet Penetration Rate shoots up to 98%

Personal Data Protection Law (PDP) aims to govern the receiving, processing and storing of data in the Kingdom
New regulatory guidance provided, including new debt crowdfunding regulations and new open banking policies
Saudi Startups raise US$ 606M in funding

New Companies Law: On the 28th of June 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a new Companies Law. Some of the new changes will enhance the ease of doing business for entrepreneurs and accommodate the growing venture capital market. 
- A Simple Joint Stock Company is a new form of company that was introduced to meet the demands of the start-up ecosystem
- Micro and small companies are not required to appoint an auditor to encourage the launch of start-ups in the market
US$ 1.1 Billion fundraised by local Saudi Startups

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