Abu Dhabi: Gulf Capital on Monday said it has acquired a strategic stake in fintech firm Saudi Geidea as it tries to boost its presence in the payment and digital financial transactions sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The total value of the transaction is 1 billion Saudi riyals (Dh978.1 million).

The transaction comes as Saudi Arabia aims to promote financial technology in the kingdom and transform the country into a destination for fintech innovation, by providing a booming ecosystem driven by local and global players. The deal constitutes the largest acquisition in the Saudi fintech sector to date.

“In a relatively short period of time, Geidea has emerged as the market leader in the financial technology sector in Saudi Arabia, paving the way for more financial institutions and businesses in the kingdom to adopt Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 of achieving far-reaching economic prosperity and moving towards a cashless society,” stated Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital.

“Geidea’s digital technologies also fuel the growth of the banking sector and the retail sector by providing digital financial transactions and the rapid transitioning to electronic payment systems.”

Established in 2008, Geidea has branches in Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and Tabouk, as well as 35 maintenance centres in different areas of the kingdom. The company also has a research and development centre in Bengaluru, India, and over 500 experts and specialists in providing IT solutions.

Gulf Capital, on the other hand. is investing across several asset classes including private equity, private debt and real estate and currently manages over Dh14.7 billion ($4 billion) of assets across 10 funds and investment vehicles. The latest deal is its fifth investment in the technology sector.