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    LEAP24 has been showcasing Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial depth and innovation. The third annual edition of the LEAP24 International Tech Conference was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, alongside Tahaluf Company, and attracted 1,800 international and local entities, as well as 50,000 foreign guests this year.

    "LEAP24 has offcially become the world's most attended technological conference, attracting 215,000 visitors and driving hotel occupancy rates in Riyadh to 99%," according to Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones.

    The conference saw announcements of launches and investments totalling over USD 1.5 billion, supplementing the cumulative projects and investments of USD 13.4 billion in its third edition.

    Michel Champion, CEO of Tahaluf, highlighted a 25% increase in attendance at this year's LEAP24 Conference, adding that the event’s expansive venue was equivalent to 37 football fields, and investor participation was up 60% compared to the previous year.

    LEAP24 emerged as a pivotal force, witnessing a surge in investments from USD 6 billion to USD 12 billion in binding agreements by participating CEOs, positioning itself as one of the world’s most prominent technological movements.

    Among the notable announcements were Amazon Web Services' investment of USD 5.3 billion to establish a high-capacity cloud zone, IBM's USD 250 million investment for the first global software development centre, and ServiceNow's USD 500 million investment to launch its first data hub in the region.

    Other significant projects unveiled include the National Development Fund's collaboration with the Social Development Bank in launching a gaming and an e-sports venture investment funds valued at SAR 450 million (USD 120 million); and the National Information Technology Development Program unveiling five initiatives supporting digital entrepreneurship.

    LEAP24 conferences serve as pivotal platforms for fostering innovation, technological investment, and exploring new frontiers amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


    Among other investments, Investcorp launched a USD 500 million growth-stage fund, while Oasis Capital launched ‘Fund II’ with a capital of USD 100 million.

    The National Development Fund and the Social Development Bank established the USD 40 million Gaming and Esports Investment Fund, which is being managed by Impact46.

    Meanwhile, Merak Capital setup a USD 80 million fund to support game accelerators in Saudi Arabia. Domestic entity Takamol Holdings also launched a USD 50 million investment arm to harness early-stage tech companies.

    In addition, Plug and Play announced a debut fund to invest in tech start-ups, while X, a unit of Unifonic, rolled out its first ever investment fund focused on supporting business software services for start-ups

    Start-ups also reported brisk activity.

    “As part of Saudi Arabia's position as the largest tech and digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, start-ups raised more than USD 53.4 million through funding rounds during LEAP24,” according to the Saudi Press Agency

    BRKZ, a Saudi-based international information technology company, raised USD 8 million in a Series A round, while FanZ, a Saudi artificial intelligence (AI) enabled sport tech company, announced a pre-seed funding round of USD 1.5 million.

    Lawazem, an online Saudi B2B supplies player, secured a pre-Series A round of USD 8 million to expand its operations, while RemotePass, a cross-border team onboarding services company, announced a Series A funding round of USD 5.5 million

    Moyasar, a Saudi payment gateway, also announced a Series A funding round to scale operations across the MENA region as it deepens services in the kingdom with Saudi-based Jahez.

    Saudi fintech company Buildnow rolled out a seed funding round led by RAED Ventures and Khawarizmi Venture Fund.

    “A liquidity bridge initiative was launched to support start-ups by providing immediate financial assistance, covering up to 50% of capital investment financing,” the organisers said.


    Research firm Magnitt’s 2019-2023 Saudi Arabia Private Equity Report shows an upsurge in private equity (PE) activity over the past five years, reaching a record USD 4 billion in 2023.

    reaching a record USD 4 billion in 2023. PE transactions have undergone significant shifts, with buyout transactions taking centre stage. Between 2020 and 2023, buyout transactions saw a 20-percentage-point (pp) increase in their share of the total, while growth transactions witnessed a 2 pp rise over the same period.

    Buyout transactions have dominated the PE investment landscape over the past five years, capturing an average of 80% of the total capital deployed in these transactions. The report also highlights significant transactional diversity and industry concentration in specific sectors, with food and beverages emerging as the most transacted industry within the PE landscape between 2019 and 2023.

    Manufacturing claimed the top spot in terms of total investment, commanding 46% of the capital deployed during this period.


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