The new programme will target pre-seed and seed stage startups, as it looks to ride the continuing waves of innovation coming out of MENA.
Riyadh-based investment firm, Sanabil Investments, has entered into a partnership with 500 Startups that will see the two entities launch a new accelerator programme. The programme will target early-stage startups looking to expand across MENA and, eventually, beyond.
The news comes on the heels of the California-based 500 Startups announcing that it is to establish a regional MENA headquarters in Riyadh, where the ‘Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator Program’ will also be based. That, in turn, coincided with an announcement by the Saudi government stating that, starting 20204, it will cease signing contracts with foreign companies, unless they have headquarters in the Saudi capital.
The programme will be made up of six separate programmes that will be run by 500 Startups across a three-year period. Pre-seed and seed stage startups from across MENA will be eligible for the programme, which intends to hand-out up to $100,000 in investment to around 100 participating startups.
For Bedy Yang, Managing Partner of 500 Startups and General Partner of the accelerator, the programme comes as a result of an increased wave of innovation coming out of not only KSA, but MENA in general.
“We are thrilled to back the best startups in MENA,” she said of the announcement. “The region’s ecosystem has evolved significantly since 500 first started investing in the region nearly 10 years ago, and we will continue providing seed-stage founders with the best support possible.”