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Startups in Saudi Arabia raised $198 million in March

UAE startups came second, with $39 million raised in 12 deals.

Startups in Saudi Arabia raised $198 million in March
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

The Saudi Arabian startup ecosystem has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with a network of venture capital firms and diverse founders from various backgrounds fostering innovation.

A joint report by Wamda and Digital Digest found that the country has seen a significant increase in fundraising. The highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, startups in the kingdom topped the fundraising activity in March, with total investments reaching $198 million. The funds were raised via 25 transactions. Most of the $130 million fund was injected into the pre-IPO round of Saudi Arabia-based software as a service (SaaS) provider Salla. 

Startups in the UAE came second, totaling $39 million through 12 deals, while Egypt came in third place, with eight startups securing $7 million.

The region as a whole witnessed startups gather a sum of $254 million during March. This rounds up the total for the first three months of 2023 to $429 million.

SaaS providers led the way for the funding, securing $130.6 million in nine deals. This overtakes fintech, which totaled $40 million over 12 transactions, and e-commerce, which raised $18 million.

Moreover, 89.7% of the funding across the MENA region was dedicated to startups founded by males, and 10% went to businesses of mixed gender founders.

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