The Wa’ed Newsletter Q1 2021

Wa’ed on the move

Saudi Arabia’s start-up sector is growing and so is Wa’ed. By 2023, we are doubling our dealmaking to boost reach and impact. We seek entrepreneurs who make the possible, possible. Managing Director Wassim Basrawi runs it down.

The Saudi green giant

When Ayed Al Qahtani retired after 25 years at Aramco, his life’s work was only beginning. Seven years later, his Go Green line of biodegradable cleaners and solvents are favorites in the Gulf.

Venture Capital

Pursuing VC deals with impact

At Wa’ed, bigger and better go hand in hand. Our VC growth strategy leverages corporate digital venturing, investor syndication and commercializing tech at Saudi universities. Wa’ed Ventures Chief Investment Officer Salman T. Jaffrey explains.

Operation collaboration

With partners like the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu and largest Saudi angel investor network Oqal, Wa’ed is widening its search for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Chief Operating Officer Raed Al Bakawi explains who joined the Wa’ed team.

In a Riyadh minute

With two-hour service in the Saudi capital and same-day service to Dammam, start-up Postage is redefining the meaning of fast delivery in the Kingdom. Learn how CEO Abdulrahman Alafaliq found the fast lane to success.

By the numbers: Wa’ed Venture Capital Q1-21


Signs of a Saudi spring

Loan repayments at Wa’ed hit a record in the first quarter, despite COVID. That could mean the Saudi economy is recovering faster than some experts anticipate. Head of Wa'ed's loan, Mazen Al Asnag deciphers the numbers.

Driving the eCommerce boom

When Abdullah Aladdad gave up his dream of becoming an online retailer, he created one of Saudi’s fastest-growing transport companies. His firm AyMakan is helping drive the Kingdom’s eCommerce boom. Read about the power of having a Plan B and the rise of AyMakan.

Breaking ground and barriers

Sarah Aljishi overcame tragedy and indifference to become one of Saudi’s first female manufacturing entrepreneurs. Her Sedra Medical Bio-Media Company aims to redefine diagnostics in the Kingdom. Read her against-the-odds story here.

By the numbers: Wa’ed Loan Financing in Q1

Incubation & Mentoring

Start-ups from the ground up

This year, Wa’ed’s new Venture Builder will begin creating start-ups designed in part by their largest clients. This novel approach is poised to redefine how new businesses are created in the Kingdom. Wa’ed’s Entrepreneurship Innovation Ecoystem Head Dr. Sarah Ghaleb discusses how the demand-driven model can cut risk for investors.

Putting the ‘e’ in eCommerce

With a unique, online inventory system, Mohammed Alqasir and Abdullah Ajadhai’s start-up Rewaa is helping a generation of Saudi retailers cash in on eCommerce. Read how Rewaa found success by removing a digital pain point for Saudi merchants.

Connecting the dots

Maverick AI’s software solutions can recognize COVID in x-rays and help mall owners set store rents. But that’s just the beginning, CEO Ali Al Mussa says. Read about the ‘smart’ innovations coming from Saudi Arabia’s newest artificial intelligence start-up.

By the numbers: Wa’ed Incubation Snapshot Q1

Wa’ed essentials

IES - The Gulf’s leading entrepreneur society

Join the largest, most influential networking group of Gulf entrepreneurs, Wa’ed’s own Innovation Ecosystem Society or IES. Engage with 1,500 experts and business owners in a high-level dialogue on the future of Saudi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Scan the QR code for sign-up details.

Wa’ed 2Q calendar

There’s a lot going on at Wa’ed. Click here for a calendar of important dates and events in April, May and June.

About Wa’ed

Wa’ed, the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, is located in Dhahran Techno Valley near Aramco HQ. Established in 2011, Wa’ed is the only no-collateral lender to Saudi start-ups and the largest domestic VC investor in Saudi-based firms. To contact us, visit our website


For more on our Q1 announced VC deals


GetMuv———— Health, wellness

Hazen.aiArtificial Intelligence

Averos————— Internet of Things

Ynmo———— Health tech, ed tech

Postage———— Logistics

In our next issue

In the 2Q edition of The Wa’ed Newsletter, we will update you on Wa’ed’s Saudi road show, our new Wa’ed podcast and Wa’ed Venture Builder, and profile more Wa’ed portfolio heroes such as Innosoft, NearMotion and Virtual Vision, which are making life easier for Saudis across the Kingdom.

Men at work

Wa’ed’s new look

Everything about Wa’ed is changing, even our head office. We’re renovating! By the end of 2021, we look forward to welcoming you at our new HQ in Dhahran Techno Valley.


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