Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing ecosystem in the region and homegrown startups have been increasingly attracting capital, with funding reaching a record high in 2020, according to Magnitt.
The government, as it looks to diversity its economy under progressive Vision 2030 plans, has been one of the main enablers of the ecosystem, activating legal frameworks or sandbox environments in key sectors like fintech.
Those efforts have managed to attract international investors to Saudi businesses, with Softbank recently making its first investment in the Kingdom, while the flourishing startup scene is encouraging many Saudi professionals to branching out and become business founders.
LinkedIn has now compiled its list of what it ranks as the top ten startups in the country, analyzing employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees.
What you should know: Headquartered in Riyadh with 300 employers, Sary is a startup that connects micro and small businesses (mainly grocery stores and food and beverage businesses) with wholesalers and FMCGs. It raised $30.5 million Series B led by VentureSouq.
What you should know: Headquartered in Riyadh with 95 employees, Tamara is a payments firm with operations in Saudi and the UAE. It offers buy-now-pay later services and allows customers to split payments into installments.
3. Jahez International Company
What you should know: The food delivery company is headquartered in Riyadh with more than 160 employees. It has expanded into cloud kitchens through the acquisition of CoKitchens. It is considering listing its shares on the Saudi Exchange’s Nomu.
4. The Chefz
What you should know: The Chefz provides food delivery services focused on high-end restaurants. In 2020, it received seed funding from Saudi’s Vision Ventures with the participation of Impact 46.
What you should know: Salasa offers pick-up, packing, and shipping services to e-commerce companies. It raised $8.6 million from a group of investors in 2020, including AlSulaiman Group, Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) and 500 Startups.
What you should know: Zid helps merchants build their own online platforms and connects them with the supply chain and third-party logistics companies. The startup has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Global Ventures in 2021.
What you should know: The e-commerce platform is known for its ‘try now-buy later’ services, allowing customers to try products in their homes before committing to a purchase. The startup raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Impact46’.
What you should know: Last year, the on-demand delivery services startup, headquartered in Khobar, received an undisclosed seven-figure USD funding by Mad’a, a private equity firm with investments like Babysouk and HyperPay. The company contracts 300,000 drivers in its network.
What you should know: Hala provides digital payment services focused on SMEs. Earlier this year the company raised $6.5 million in a Series A round led by Impact46. It’s also one of the first Saudi fintech companies to receive a full SAMA license.
10. Shift inc.
What you should know: Headquartered in Jeddah with more than a 170 staff. Shift inc. provides personalized leasing and automated car rental solutions and long-term contracts in the Kingdom.