Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has collaborated with Fintech Saudi as a strategic partner, along with regional seed and early-stage venture capital firm Flat6Labs, to launch a 12-week Fintech Accelerator to expedite the growth and development of promising Saudi fintech companies.
The hybrid event, which commences towards the end of February, will take place in Riyadh and virtually, and will host a cohort of 12 qualified startups for a series of workshops and training seminars. The rogramme will include a Regulation Track and a Business Track running simultaneously.
Each submission will undergo a vigorous assessment before being selected to proceed in the accelerator which will see Wa’ed select three startups to onboard into its incubation programme, each receiving a SAR 50,000 grant.
As Fintech Accelerator’s incubation and strategic partner, Wa’ed will deliver startup workshops, including pitching and growth hacking, best practices, as well as coaching and mentorship sessions. The programme will culminate with a demo day in which the fintech startups will pitch to potential investors.
“Wa’ed has long experience in selecting high-calibre startups in the Kingdom and this collaborative effort with Fintech Saudi will give these ventures a solid start as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Fahad Alidi, the Managing Director at Wa’ed . “Our goal is to support local startups at every stage in their growth and prepare them for venture capital investment and regulatory qualification”
Fintech has become one of the more active startup sectors in Saudi Arabia, growing steadily in recent years to meet the rising demand for innovative financial technology solutions. Wa’ed recently closed a SAR 19 million Pre-Series A investment co-led with Raed Ventures in Lamaa, the Saudi-based fintech startup providing financing solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including Supply Chain Finance and Buy Now Pay Later.
“We are pleased with Wa’ed’s strategic partnership in the Fintech Accelerator, and together we will ensure there is continued support for the participants well beyond the programme,” said Nezar AlHaidar, the Accelerator Manager at Fintech Saudi. “We are looking forward to providing guidance and support to the startups in their business development and helping them navigate the regulatory landscape.”
All qualified startups will be subject to a background check and are required to have a minimum viable product, a tech-experienced founder, and at least one dedicated full-time team member.
Following completion of the Fintech Accelerator, the participating startups can continue to avail support services through regulator meetings with the accelerator team. The programme will include engagement with the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority.