The chosen ones will get up to $100,000 investment from Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: One of the biggest global names in venture capital, 500 Startups has struck an alliance with Saudi Arabia's Sanabil Investments, which focuses on private investments, to launch the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program in Riyadh.

It will consist of six programmes run by 500 Startups over three years for a select group of pre-seed and seed stage startups from the region. Startups participating will receive a $100,000 investment from the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund. The fund will also invest opportunistically in other pre-seed and seed stage startups throughout MENA.

It is expected to invest in approximately 100 startups. This follows the announcement of 500 Startups’ new MENA regional headquarters in Riyadh.

Startup ecosystem

Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Startups and General Partner of the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund, said: “The region’s ecosystem has evolved significantly since 500 first started investing in the region nearly 10 years ago, and we will continue providing seed-stage founders with the best support possible.”

500 Startups has operated  50 accelerator programs in Silicon Valley and globally, and invested in over 2,500 companies, including more than 180 from within MENA. Based on internal valuations and information received, as of December 31 last, 500’s global investment portfolio now has more than 23 'unicorns', or investments valued at over $1 billion.