Saudi Telecom sets up $50m fund
Riyadh, November 21, 2011
The Saudi Telecom Group has established an investment fund to enrich innovation and creativity in Information and Technology with an initial capital of $50 million.
The venture capital fund will specialise in start ups and small, and medium sized companies operating in the field of telecommunications and Information Technology in the Saudi market as well as other international markets.
The initial amount of $50 million is self financed by STC making it the only investor in the fund at this stage, said Saud bin Majed Al Daweesh, STC Group CEO.
STC has also entered into an agreement with Iris Capital, a leading pan-European growth equity and late stage investor specialised in the media, telecom and IT/Internet sectors.
An active player in the European market, Iris Capital is keen to enter the Saudi market, said Al Daweesh after signing the deal.
“This Fund targets the local market and invests in local Saudi expertise, talent, and venture capital ideas in the field of IT and telecoms in addition to other markets in the Mena, Europe, and the US region with a purpose to cut investment risks in the Fund,” remarked Al Daweesh.
The establishment of the fund, he said, comes as part of the Kingdom’s strategic direction and its drive to transform to a knowledge-based economy by enriching the spirit of both initiative and innovation being a fund that invests in IT start-ups and SMEs.
'In return this creates a market and key investment opportunities by being the first to have access to technologies and modern services as well as enter into new partnerships,' Al Daweesh noted.
'Doing so will create new job opportunities, encourage and develop innovation and creativity and continuous development as well support the infrastructure for knowledge economy,' he added.
The STC chief said the investment was an affirmation of the group’s belief in the various opportunities available in this field as well as being a logical step for it to have first hand access in new technologies and modern services and enter into new partnerships to diversify its revenue base in regional markets.
'Doing so will maintain its market leadership in the telecommunications sector regionally,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service