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I’ve always been curious and ambitious, and have defied the stereotype that people can only be one thing in life. Today, as an entrepreneur, author, self-taught musician, certified pilot, champion diver and squash champion, I’ve proven that believing in yourself can lead to incredible success. However, what excites me more than my achievements is enabling others to maximize their skills and achieve their dreams – supporting them, clearing their minds and giving them the opportunity to further develop their skills.
Falak Investment Hub was born out of my desire to help others achieve their potential and become innovators and disruptors. Our mission is to identify aspiring entrepreneurs, equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge, and give them the opportunity to grow and thrive. We strive to develop these individuals into successful founders, with the ultimate goal of creating the next generation of MENA unicorns. It is well known and according to several studies, startups in Saudi Arabia and other MENA countries face many challenges. These include limited access to finance, high setup fees, difficulties in recruiting talent, inefficient cash flow management, lack of access to market intelligence, and a lack of advice and mentoring.
Saudi Arabia is already the busiest startup market in the region, with thousands of small and medium-sized companies. However, the country’s population of over 36 million represents a huge reservoir of untapped potential. With around 70% of the population being under the age of 30, the potential for innovation is at its peak. Falak Investment Hub recognizes this opportunity and wants to unleash the potential of Arab youth by fostering their entrepreneurial spirit. We believe that startups open up opportunities for the development of innovative ideas. They also create jobs, contribute to economic growth and attract investment, like-minded visionaries and disruptors. With one million startups across the kingdom, the startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia surpassed $11 billion in 2022. In recent years, the Saudi government has introduced a variety of initiatives in key economic sectors as part of its Vision 2030 strategy. These have focused on discovering new markets, fostering a diversified economy, supporting innovation and creating an enabling environment for many sectors to thrive and attract investment.
Today, Saudi Arabia’s economy is the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. According to a report by the International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia recorded economic growth of 8.7% in 2022, the highest in the region. According to Fitch Solutions, the economy will see an additional 3.3% growth through the end of 2023. Additionally, startups in Saudi Arabia saw a 72% annual increase in venture capital funding in 2022, reaching nearly $1 billion in 144 deals. according to a report by MAGNiTT.
Related: Why Saudi Arabia is increasingly viewed as the right place to start a business in the Middle East
In 2021, the country saw a 54% increase in startup funding deals, accounting for 23% of all MENA funding. The e-commerce sector is another important aspect to consider as it has seen rapid growth in recent years and is becoming a major factor in Saudi Arabia’s economic expansion. The country is now the 27th largest e-commerce market globally, with a projected value of over $13 billion by 2025. The tech sector raised about $972 million in 2022, and LEAP 2023, the largest tech summit of the Landes, announced more than $9 billion in investments to support technology startups. This underscores the significant potential of the startup ecosystem while demonstrating investors’ confidence in Saudi entrepreneurs and the country’s leadership. With this, Falak strengthens the next generation of changemakers. We fund founders through our investment-backed business acceleration program, launched in 2018 and now recognized as the leading business acceleration program in the country.
Additionally, we connect founders with investors and act as a Saudi launch pad, encouraging international entrepreneurs to establish a presence in the Kingdom and become part of one of the largest emerging markets in the world. Empowering entrepreneurs is not possible without empowering investors. That’s why we organize educational workshops for our angel investors to improve their skills and help them make informed investment decisions. Additionally, we help market participants and government agencies become an integral part of the broader ecosystem by providing technical assistance in the creation and development of venture capital and investment programs.
In the last four years Falak Investment Hub has invested approximately $4 million to support and enable startups, bringing our startup portfolio to a value of $250 million. Additionally, we have announced over $95 million in investments through our Angel network. Ultimately, our goal is to create a dynamic environment that fosters innovation and economic growth. It’s exciting for us to see the rapid expansion of the ecosystem, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to help it thrive even more.
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