Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has collaborated with Fintech Saudi as a strategic partner, along with regional seed and early-stage venture capital firm Flat6Labs, to launch a 12-week Fintech Accelerator to expedite the growth and development of promising Saudi fintech companies. The hybrid event, which commences towards the end of February, will take place in Riyadh and virtually , and will host a cohort of 12 qualified startups for a series of workshops and training seminars. The program will include a Regulation Track and a Business Track running simultaneously.
Each submission will undergo a vigorous assessment before being selected to proceed in the accelerator which will see Wa’ed select three startups to onboard into its incubation program, each receiving a SAR 50,000 grant.
As Fintech Accelerator’s incubation and strategic partner, Wa’ed will deliver startup workshops, including pitching and growth hacking, best practices, as well as coaching and mentorship sessions. The program will culminate with a demo day in which the fintech startups will pitch to potential investors.
“Wa’ed has long experience in selecting high-caliber startups in the Kingdom and this collaborative effort with Fintech Saudi will give these ventures a solid start as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Fahad Alidi, the Managing Director at Wa’ed . “Our goal is to support local startups at every stage in their growth and prepare them for venture capital investment and regulatory qualification”
Fintech has become one of the more active startup sectors in Saudi Arabia, growing steadily in recent years to meet the rising demand for innovative financial technology solutions. Wa’ed recently closed a SAR 19 million Pre-Series A investment co-led with Raed Ventures in Lamaa, the Saudi-based fintech startup providing financing solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including Supply Chain Finance and Buy Now Pay Later.
“We are pleased with Wa’ed’s strategic partnership in the Fintech Accelerator, and together we will ensure there is continued support for the participants well beyond the program,” said Nezar AlHaidar, the Accelerator Manager at Fintech Saudi. “We are looking forward to providing guidance and support to the startups in their business development and helping them navigate the regulatory landscape.”
All qualified startups will be subject to a background check and are required to have a minimum viable product, a tech-experienced founder, and at least one dedicated full time team member.
Following completion of the Fintech Accelerator, the participating startups can continue to avail support services through regulator meetings with the accelerator team. The program will include engagement with the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority.
Wa’ed is the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco and the largest and most active institutional venture capital investor for Saudi-based start-ups, providing end-to-end support in mentoring, incubation, loan financing, and venture capital investment. Established by Saudi Aramco in 2011 to harness the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial spirit, Wa’ed is an essential enabler of new business growth and economic diversification through its loan financing activities and Wa’ed VC arm, Wa’ed Ventures, which oversees $200 million in assets and a portfolio of 30+ Saudi-based companies. Based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Wa’ed is a fully owned venture of Saudi Aramco.
About Fintech Saudi
Fintech Saudi is an initiative launched by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) in collaboration with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) under the Financial Sector Development Program to support the development of the Fintech Industry in Saudi Arabia. Fintech Saudi’s ambition is to transform Saudi Arabia into an innovative fintech hub with a thriving and responsible fintech ecosystem. Fintech Saudi seeks to achieve this by supporting the development of the infrastructure required for the growth of the fintech industry, building capabilities and talent required by fintech companies and supporting fintech entrepreneurs at every stage of their development.