Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco, is collaborating with Falak Investment Hub, a Saudi VC and accelerator led by one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential women entrepreneurs, to drive venture capital investment in the Kingdom.
An MoU was signed at Wa’ed’s headquarters in Dhahran by Adwa Aldakheel, Founder and CEO of Falak, Falak’s Chief Investment Officer Hassan Ikram, along with Wa’ed’s Managing Director Wassim Basrawi and the Chief Investment Officer Salman T. Jaffrey. Both organisations expressed confidence that the new collaboration would exploit synergies that increase the likelihood of success for early-stage and growth-stage startups through services, training programs, market access, and mentorship.
Falak is a unique hybrid of a co-working space, VC firm, angel investor network and an investment-backed accelerator for MENA-based tech startups with a focus on Saudi Arabia. So far, the startups in Falak’s portfolio have generated combined revenues of more than SAR 550 million ($146.7 million).
“With the robust platforms and complementary resources our organisations bring to the table, I am confident this cooperation will enable us to fund more entrepreneurs and innovators that will add value to the Kingdom’s venture capital ecosystem,” said .Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director, Wa’ed
Through its venture capital arm, Wa’ed Ventures, Wa’ed is the largest and most active VC investor dedicated to Saudi-based start-ups and, through its loan financing arm, the Kingdom’s only no-collateral lender to start-ups.
Since its founding in 2011, Wa’ed has deployed more than SAR 375 million (almost $100 million) in loans and venture capital investments into Saudi-based startups, and committed more than $50 million across 30+ portfolio companies, which include FalconViz, Golden Scent, and Ynmo.
Falak’s group of 17 startups – 15 are currently in Falak’s investment-backed acceleration program – are a good compliment to Wa’ed’s own end-to-end offering, which includes venture capital, loans and an incubation and mentoring program. Wa’ed will also leverage Falak’s acceleration programs, angel network, virtual bootcamps and mentors, according to Ikram, Falak’s CIO.
Falak launched the first angel-backed acceleration program in Saudi Arabia, and offers local entrepreneurship podcasts, incubation and acceleration programs for government entities, virtual bootcamps across MENA and an angel network partnered with Saudi Venture Capital for co-matching program. Falak has graduated two batches of start-ups from its Flagship Acceleration Program and applications for a third batch close at the end of May.
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