Ad Code

Responsive Advertisement

Riyadh among top 5 MENA startup ecosystems, report states

 Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, has been recognized as one of the top five startup ecosystems in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to new data released by Startup Genome in collaboration with the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Three Saudi cities—Riyadh, Jeddah, and Alkhobar—were ranked among the leading startup ecosystems in the region, with Riyadh securing the fourth position.

Key Highlights from the Report:

  • Top Five Ecosystems: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Alkhobar are notable mentions in the MENA region's top-ranked startup ecosystems.
  • Unicorns: Riyadh is one of two MENA ecosystems, alongside Dubai, recognized for having four or more unicorns in the last decade. A unicorn is a privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more.
  • Global Ranking: Riyadh is ranked between 51 and 60 internationally, with its funding performance receiving a score of seven out of 10.
  • AI Commitment: Saudi Arabia's commitment to artificial intelligence was highlighted, with a $40 billion investment aimed at boosting AI technology.

Venture Capital and Funding:

  • Saudi Arabia's Dominance: In 2023, Saudi Arabia accounted for 52 percent of the total venture capital (VC) funding in the MENA region, a significant increase from 31 percent in 2022.
  • Record-Breaking Funding: The Kingdom's startup ecosystem amassed $1.38 billion in venture funding in 2023, marking the first time it surpassed the $1 billion mark and positioning it at the forefront of venture capital funding in the region.

Comparison with Abu Dhabi:

  • Fastest-Growing Ecosystem: Abu Dhabi, UAE, was ranked as the fastest-growing startup ecosystem in the region with a global rank between 61 and 70.
  • Ecosystem Valuation: Abu Dhabi's ecosystem was valued at $4.2 billion, featuring one unicorn between 2021 and 2023, and saw a median seed funding of $825,000.
  • Venture Capital: Total venture capital funding in Abu Dhabi reached $1.1 billion between 2019 and 2023, with 16 exits during this period.


The MENA region, particularly Saudi Arabia, has seen substantial growth in venture capital and startup development, driven by strategic investments and a proactive approach to embracing new technologies. Riyadh's recognition as a leading startup ecosystem, along with significant achievements in venture funding, underscores the Kingdom's growing influence in the global startup landscape.

Post a Comment


Close Menu