The startup scene in Saudi Arabia is rapidly evolving. The year 2024 is particularly exciting, with several innovative companies emerging in various sectors. From digital marketplaces to financial technologies, these startups are not just transforming the Saudi business landscape but also setting new benchmarks in the region.
Here are ten Saudi Arabian startups that you should watch closely in 2024.
1. Sary: B2B Marketplaces
Sary, established in 2018, has rapidly transformed into a key player in the B2B marketplace in Saudi Arabia. Specialising in connecting small and medium-sized businesses with a vast range of wholesalers and manufacturers, Sary leverages technology to streamline the supply chain. The platform has facilitated over 70,000 businesses, expanding its services to regions beyond Saudi Arabia, including Egypt and Pakistan.
With a substantial total funding of $112.5 million, Sary’s innovative approach in digitising and simplifying the procurement process has made it a model for efficient distribution networks, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. The company’s strategic expansion and acquisitions, such as the Egyptian B2B platform Mowarrid and a significant stake in Pakistan’s “Jugnu,” underline its growing influence in the MENAP region.
2. ACWA Power: Pioneering Renewable Energy Solutions
ACWA Power stands out in the renewable energy sector in Saudi Arabia. The company’s commitment to developing and operating power generation and desalinated water production plants is pivotal in driving the Kingdom’s sustainable energy initiatives. As a key player in the region’s energy landscape, ACWA Power focuses on harnessing renewable sources, thereby contributing significantly to the national goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
Their projects not only support the regional grid with reliable energy but also set new standards in environmental sustainability. The impact of ACWA Power’s work extends beyond energy, as it plays a vital role in promoting eco-friendly practices and encouraging a shift towards renewable resources in the region.
3. Tamara: Transforming Payment Solutions
Tamara is redefining the fintech landscape in Saudi Arabia with its innovative payment solutions. The platform addresses a growing market need for flexible and user-friendly financial services. By offering “buy now, pay later” options, Tamara caters to a broad spectrum of consumers, enhancing the shopping experience and providing much-needed liquidity options.
This approach not only facilitates smoother transactions for customers but also helps businesses by increasing purchase volumes. Tamara’s commitment to improving the payment ecosystem reflects the evolving nature of consumer finance in the region. As it continues to expand its services, Tamara is set to play a significant role in the transformation of digital payment systems in Saudi Arabia and beyond.
4. Payllion: Fraud Detection And Expense Management
Payllion is a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Saudi Arabia, offering innovative solutions in fraud detection and expense management. This platform stands out by providing SMBs with advanced tools to protect their finances and streamline their expense tracking processes. In an era where digital transactions are ubiquitous, Payllion’s services are crucial for businesses to safeguard against fraudulent activities and manage their financial resources efficiently.
The company’s approach to combining security with financial management convenience is not just enhancing the operational capabilities of SMBs but also instilling greater confidence among business owners in managing their digital financial transactions. Payllion’s focus on these niche areas shows the growing importance of cybersecurity and financial efficiency in today’s digital-first business environment.
5. Red Sea: Innovating In Agri-Tech
Red Sea is at the forefront of agricultural innovation in Saudi Arabia, specialising in saltwater-based agricultural technology. This approach addresses the unique challenges of farming in arid environments, making it a beacon of sustainability and food security. By utilising saltwater, Red Sea is not only conserving freshwater resources but also opening new avenues for agricultural productivity in regions with limited access to fresh water.
Their technology demonstrates a significant leap in sustainable agriculture, enabling the growth of crops in harsh climates while reducing the environmental impact. The company’s commitment to innovation aligns with Saudi Arabia’s vision of achieving agricultural sustainability and food self-sufficiency, making Red Sea Farms a key player in the future of global agri-tech solutions.
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6. Zod: Redefining Banking For Families
Zod is changing the banking experience for families in Saudi Arabia by introducing a neobank tailored to the needs of parents and their children. This innovative platform bridges the gap between traditional banking and the modern financial needs of families, offering user-friendly services and financial education tools. Zod’s approach to banking is not only about managing finances but also about fostering financial literacy among young users.
By creating a space where parents can teach their children about money management in a practical and engaging way, Zod is nurturing a financially savvy future generation. Their services, which include tailored saving plans and spending tracking, make financial management accessible and understandable for all family members. Zod’s emphasis on combining banking with education is a fresh take on financial services, making it a standout in the fintech sector.
7. Nana: Elevating Online Grocery Shopping
Nana is transforming the online grocery shopping experience in Saudi Arabia. This innovative platform offers a convenient and efficient way for consumers to purchase their daily essentials. With a focus on user experience, Nana provides a wide range of products, quick delivery, and seamless ordering processes, making grocery shopping hassle-free and accessible.
The startup’s rapid growth can be attributed to its ability to meet the increasing demand for home delivery services, especially in the context of changing consumer behaviors and the growing preference for digital solutions. Nana’s success lies in its commitment to customer satisfaction, offering a personalised shopping experience that caters to the unique preferences and needs of its users. As e-commerce continues to expand, Nana is well-positioned to remain a leader in the online grocery sector.
8. Sirdab: Streamlining Inventory Management
Sirdab is changing the way businesses in Saudi Arabia manage their inventory. By offering a comprehensive solution for storage, management, and movement of inventory, Sirdab is addressing a crucial need in the logistics and supply chain sector. Their platform simplifies inventory processes, making them more efficient and less time-consuming.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to optimise their operations and reduce overhead costs. Sirdab’s innovative approach to inventory management is a testament to the growing importance of logistics technology in the business world, helping companies to keep pace with the demands of a rapidly evolving market.
9. Salla: Pioneering E-commerce Platforms
Salla is making significant strides in the e-commerce sector in Saudi Arabia by enabling businesses to effortlessly create and manage online stores. This platform empowers entrepreneurs and retailers to tap into the digital economy, providing tools that are both user-friendly and sophisticated. Salla’s services include website design, payment gateway integration, and sales tracking, all designed to facilitate a smooth transition from traditional to online retail.
The platform’s emphasis on ease of use and comprehensive support makes it an attractive choice for businesses looking to establish or expand their online presence. As e-commerce continues to grow, Salla is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of retail in Saudi Arabia.
10 Nearpay: Enhancing Financial Accessibility
Nearpay is carving a niche in the fintech sector in Saudi Arabia by offering innovative financial solutions that focus on accessibility and convenience. This platform is dedicated to bridging the gap for unbanked and underbanked populations, providing them with essential financial services. Nearpay’s approach includes easy-to-use payment solutions and financial services that cater to a wide range of users.
The startup’s commitment to financial inclusion is particularly noteworthy, as it addresses the significant credit gap faced by small and informal businesses. By simplifying financial transactions and making them more accessible, Nearpay is not only empowering individuals and businesses but also contributing to the overall financial growth and stability in the region.
The startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia is experiencing a dynamic phase. As these startups continue to grow and expand their influence, they are set to play a significant role in shaping Saudi Arabia’s economy and driving it towards a more technologically advanced future.