Badir Program launches new strategy to invest in startups

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Time: May 6, 2018

RIYADH — Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, one of the leading initiatives of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), has launched a new investment strategy seeking to invest in “high potential” technology start-ups with a focus on the program’s incubated or graduated companies.

The Program did not disclose the size of the total funds planned for investment in incubated or graduated start-ups, but said the investment strategy aims to bridge the funding gap that hinders emerging companies from turning into businesses capable of attracting investments.

As part of its new investment strategy, Badir Program has completed its investment financing transaction in Voxel Company — one of the most prominent projects incubated by the Program and specialized in 3D terrestrial and aerial digital survey and virtual reality technology. The Voxel Company, which was valued at $3.5 milion during the valuation process, intends to use the new funding in improving and developing its services and increase its expansion in the local and regional market.

That is the second transaction for Badir Program after its participation last week in the first funding round of Telfaz11, a Saudi digital media company with 20 million YouTube subscribers to its network.

“Our new investment in ‘Telfaz11’ and Voxel meets our new strategic goals of investment in the incubation outputs of the start-ups with the aim to help them expand and grow in the targeted markets, especially given the challenges and difficulties faced by Saudi start-ups in obtaining the necessary funding,” said Nawaf Al Sahhaf, Chief Executive Officer of Badir Program.

He added: “Badir Program will have a dual investment strategy — funding start-up companies in the incorporation phase; and incubated & graduated companies in the growth phase. Also, the Program will continue to support the start-up ecosystem and look for opportunities in technology innovation that match program portfolio requirements and are in line with its new strategic objectives.”

Badir Program is one of the leading programs of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The program was established in 2007 to improve and support technical entrepreneurship throughout the Kingdom by helping the strategic policy applied in entrepreneurship and incubators in collaboration with government agencies, universities and the private sector. — SG

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette

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