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The year gone by was rather splendid for tech startups incubated by the Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators. The net funding raised by Badir graduates throughout 2018 stood on a record high at nearly $29.32 million (from 63 deals in total).

Badir, one of the flagship initiatives of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), announced Feb 18 that individual investors topped the charts when it comes to funding Badir incubated tech startups. Private companies and venture capital firms stood at second and third spots respectively on that count.

According to the data made available by Badir, individual investors contributed roughly $10.85 million into Badir startups in 2018. Compared to that, private sector companies pumped roughly $9.39 million, and venture capital firms contributed $8.18 million. The government also chipped in with funding worth approximately $944,533.

Speaking on Badir’s pioneering role in the upliftment of Saudi Arabia’s innovation-driven startup ecosystem, Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, said: “The Saudi startup industry is seeing bright prospects with funding activity gaining pace in the second half of 2018. I am optimistic that we will see the surge in investments and opportunities in the seed round and angel funding for startups this year. Series A and Series B are bullish as well, given the thriving and expanding Saudi startup industry.”

He added:  “With the increased awareness campaign for the incubator programs, we were able to reap better results with more funding from the anticipated quarters. Saudi startups have a wide range of financing options as funding volumes in the local market has increased steadily, with a lot of fresh money flowing into seed and early-stage companies.”

Founded in 2007, the Badir program aims to support and encourage technical entrepreneurship throughout Saudi Arabia in collaboration with private sector enterprises, educational institutions, and government agencies.