Saudi Telecom announces STV, $500 million VC fund for tech investments

Saudi Telecom Company has announced a $500 million independent  fund for tech investment. Its board of directors approved the formation of fund yesterday which will be financed by five tranches of $100 million each, the company said in a statement to Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul.

The fund is going to be financed from the company’s own sources and will be used to invest in promising and fast-growing digital and technology sectors. Also, the company plans to use the fund for comprehensive development of the digital system in the region.

“The move is in line with STC’s strategy to diversify its investments. The fund will not only invest in venture fund, it will also benefit from the company’s assets to support its investments through expansion and growth through an independent governance and operating system designed for this purpose according to international best practice.” said the statement.

Update: The fund is called Saudi Technology Ventures, STV. The company has issued a press statement saying that it is establishing STV to achieve its strategic growth aspirations and to help realize Vision 2030’s technological ambitions by investing in new digital areas and by growing the digital innovation ecosystem in the region.

“We are very proud of this historic step by STC, which will be a pivotal turning point for the region’s technology ecosystem,” said Dr. Khalid Al-Bayari, Chief Executive Officer of STC. “Global telecoms have two choices — to either change and evolve into digital companies or to convert into a utility. We have elected to go down the first route. STC has the potential, resources and strategic assets to make a quantum leap in the technology and entrepreneurial sectors it is working on transforming.”

“We believe the region can create it’s own future and we will invest in the next generation growth engines that will make this happen” said Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Chief Executive Officer of STV. “The centers of gravity for growth and value across the world’s economies and industries will undergo profound transformations due to technology disruptions, and we believe STV will create value for STC and the region amidst these transformations.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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