Venture Capital: Renowned VC 500 Startups Makes Saudi Foray

February 22, 2021 | News, Venture Capital

500 Startups, “the most active early-stage investor in the world,” ties up with a Saudi partner.

500 Startups, which has backed more than 2,500 companies in 78 countries, spanning almost every continent, is making landfall in Saudi Arabia. The renowned VC firm has partnered with Saudi financial services firm Sanabil Investments for the launch of a seed accelerator program in Riyadh. (GULF NEWS)

500 Startups recently set up its new MENA regional headquarters in Riyadh.

Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program

The accelerator program aims to fund pre-seed and seed-stage startups drawn from the MENA region. Spanning six programs run over a period of three years, it will be managed by 500 Startups. The program will be funded by the Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Fund.

Startups will get checks of $100,000 each from the accelerator program.

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.”


Start-up data platform Magnitt said last month that VC funding in the MENA region reached $1.031 billion last year. That was up 13% from 2019.

This was the first time that start-ups in the MENA region received more than $1 billion in venture capital in 2020.

According to the report, the top investors who put through more than 10 deals each in 2020 were: 500 Startups, Oqal, Saudi Venture Capital Company, Vision Ventures, OTF Techween, Flat6Labs Cairo, Impact 46, Shorooq Partners, Startupbootcamp Smart  City, Global Ventures, Misk 500 Accelerator, and OTF Wadi Accelerators.

“We are excited to partner with 500 Startups to launch the accelerator program. The program will help fund and support founders in Saudi Arabia and regionally to accelerate their growth and create the champions of tomorrow,” said a Sanabil Investments representative.

Related Story:  Western Union Acquires 15% Of Saudi Fintech stc pay For $200M

Image Credit: Kingdom Tower, Riyadh (Flickr)                                                 

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