STC invests $50m in fund for SMEs

Saudi telco major set up new investment fund to breed new IT, telecom innovations
Saud Al Daweesh said the fund could help create jobs by stimulating innovation.
Saud Al Daweesh said the fund could help create jobs by stimulating innovation.

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Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group announced on Monday it has invested $50 million in a new venture capital fund to help start up small and medium sized companies.

It said it would invest in smaller firms operating in the field of telecommunications and IT in the Saudi market as well as other international markets.

STC Group said in a statement that it will invest an initial amount of $50m, adding that other local and international companies will be invited to invest in the fund at a later stage.

Saud bin Majed Al Daweesh, STC Group CEO, said: "This fund targets the local market and invests in local Saudi expertise, talent, and venture capital ideas in the field of IT and telecommunications in addition to other markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the United States."

Al Daweesh added that investing in small and medium sized start-ups would help to create job opportunities, encourage and develop innovation "as well support the infrastructure for knowledge economy".

He said the fund had been set up in an agreement with venture capital firm Iris Capital.

He added that the fund was a logical step for STC as it would give the company "first hand access in new technologies and modern services".

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