Good news from Saudi Arabia
Saudi has seen significant funding growth, with US$818m raised over 106 deals in the year's first three quarters Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (MISA) is set to host the next edition of ‘Catalyze Saudi’ to showcase investment opportunities in the entertainment, gaming, and hospitality sectors to global investors.

Catalyze Saudi, a programme aimed at connecting government leaders, startups, and investors to boost Saudi Arabia’s startup, and entrepreneurship ecosystem, hopes to increase the contribution of SMEs to the Saudi economy. Catalyze Saudi will begin on December 9 in AlUla and conclude in Riyadh on December 11.

This effort is in line with the country’s goal of increasing the SME contribution to GDP from 20 per cent to 35 per cent in 2030, as set out in its Vision 2030 economic growth and diversification blueprint and National Investment Strategy, said a press release from MISA.

According to MAGNiTT, a startup platform for emerging venture capital markets, last year was a record-breaking year for the Saudi venture capital ecosystem, which grew 270 per cent year-over-year as startups accumulated US$548m in funding.

Saudi has seen significant funding growth, with US$818m raised over 106 deals in the year's first three quarters. The value is already 50 per cent higher than the record funding raised last year and took Saudi Arabia’s share of the total budget in the MENA region to 35 per cent, up from 18 per cent in 2020.

Catalyze Saudi was launched in March 2022. Participants have included Mayor Francis Suarez from Miami, David Grutman, Rio Ferdinand, Onefootball, Liberty City Ventures, Todd English, Animoca Brands, Silicon Valley Bank, Ginkgo Bioworks, Warner Music Group, Fernando Garibay and others.

This edition of Catalyze Saudi will focus on the entertainment industry's future, bringing guests to discuss opportunities across sectors such as gaming, media, music, sport, design, tourism, and hospitality, with a specific lens on increasing investment in Saudi Arabia.