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Unique Opportunities for Startups: Saudi Arabia Invests $1 Billion

Recently, Saudi Arabia used its ‘Public Investment Fund’ to launch a venture called Jada, worth $1.07 billion. Here’s some information on the news, in addition to how it affects potential startups.

Introduction to Jada
Jada is planning on investing in both private equity funds and venture capital. The company is looking to add a spark for SME investment in addition to getting some extra jobs going in the region for those who live in the country. There was a ceremony that launched the company in Riyadh on a Tuesday. Those associated with the fund announced that Jada would also invest in companies like Raed Ventures and Vision Ventures.

Jada is now known as the “fund of funds” as a result of the press. The expectation is that the fund will create 2,600 new jobs and add a hundred million dollars USD to the GDP by the end of the year in 2020. The expectation is that this will only continue to rise throughout the years, with the projection going all the way up to 58,000 jobs and billions of dollars by the end of 2027. This is only one of the options that the Public Investment Fund, or PIF, is focusing on for increasing wealth in the region.

Jada, The PIF, and Saudi Arabia’s Plans
The belief is that the PIF has as much as $180 billion in assets. The plan appears to be to use this to create reforms economically that will reduce how much Saudi Arabia has to depend on foreign oil exports as well as, potentially, other foreign exports. The goal appears to be to use some of the money from oil in the region, such as a few percentage points of the funds in Aramco, to start stimulating non-oil companies in the private sector to keep the fund’s assets growing throughout the world and stimulating the economy in the region.

One of the sources of this insight into how the fund will be used comes directly from the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who said that they hope to use from half up to more than two-thirds of the fund to invest domestically. In other words, Jada is only one piece of the whole puzzle, which is pointing towards some of the most significant opportunities coming from a country’s government funding that startups throughout the world had ever seen.
In the recent past, in addition to Jada, the PIF has added as much as $45 billion in investments for SoftBank technology, for example. They also had $20 billion to invest in Blackstone in the U.S., related to their infrastructure.

The PIF has even announced schemes to create new projects in Medina and Mecca and to even work on the waterfront of Jeddah in terms of real estate. On top of all that, the PIF will be the chief investor for a 129 square mile block of land in Riyadh, which is being described as an “entertainment city.” It will be full of recreational buildings and cultural opportunities.

All this is to say that Jada is just one of the ventures that Saudi Arabia is using to expand its investments. There is money coming from Jada, which will be specifically used on startup companies, and other investments will be used in other sectors as well, including entertainment and real estate.

Along with Jada, Saudi Arabia also has a vast IT market, and the country has announced partnerships leading to 4 Billion in the initiative over the next five years.
Therefore, regardless of what sector a startup is focused on, there’s a good chance that there will be money available for using it to develop some aspect of Saudi Arabia, including potentially both from Jada and from other parts of the PIF. This includes the Jeddah Waterfront Corniche for real estate, tourism, and commercial projects that will begin construction between now and the end of 2022, for example. It will include Riyadh metro projects designed to relieve the congested capital, which is ongoing over the next four years, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, the Red Sea Beach Tourism Project, and many others besides.

Each of these projects will no doubt have essential requirements in all sectors connected to them. It won’t just be craned physically moving dirt around; it will be recreation vendors of all sorts to expand the tourism of the area, for example. Saudi Arabia is very interested in reducing its reliance on oil, and the Red Sea Beach Tourism Project, in particular, is focused on more than 50 islands that will become tourist areas withdraws of just about anything one can imagine in the department of vacationing and recreation.

The key will be in finding inroads with the Saudi government to see how a company’s particular assets and skills could be of use to the Saudi government to connect into one of these many projects that start with Jada but branch out endlessly from there in all directions.

Taking Advantage
For startups to take advantage of the enormous potential of this investment fund, they are going to need lawyers who are highly familiar not only with the law in Saudi Arabia and how the climate works there but specifically with this particular field. Firms that have much experience in these two aspects of the deal are going to be vital in assisting SMEs and startups with gaining access to these funds and thriving in that environment.

With this in mind, please don’t hesitate to go ahead and contact HMCO today. They have the experience required in Saudi Arabia, and with this particular law and financial situation to make sure that your startup will gain the funds it needs to go on to succeed. The quicker you contact them, the faster your success will be assured, and the more likely you’ll be able to make use of the Kingdom’s funds for mutual success all around.

It’s important not to hesitate since the projects from Jada and beyond are all happening right now.