Rainmaking launches 4th MENA studio in Saudi Arabia

31 July 2023 Consultancy-me.com 2 min. read

Hot on the heels of selling its Asia Pacific arm to strategy firm Bain & Company, Rainmaking has entered the Saudi Arabian market to serve the kingdom’s burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Founded and headquartered in Denmark, Rainmaking is a corporate innovation and venture development firm. The firm’s 10 studios around the world help startup founders with incubating and scaling their business (mainly through accelerator programs), and corporates with accelerating their corporate venturing agenda.

Since its inception in 2006, Ra has helped build more than 1,400 ventures and served close to 100 of the Fortune 500 brands, including multinationals IKEA, HSBC, Orange, Vodafone, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Engie, Shell, and Visa.

Rainmaking launches 4th MENA studio in Saudi Arabia

The launch in Saudi Arabia comes in response to growing demand for startup building and capital raising expertise in Saudi Arabia. According to data from Magnitt, Saudi-based startups raised $446 million in the first half of 2023, the highest in the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for 42% of the region’s total.

While investments in Saudi startups was lower than the year previous, the kingdom’s scene is per Magnitt’s study “more robust” and has a “more optimistic growth outlook” compared to the global average. Amid a liquidity crunch and a slowdown in economic growth, venture capitalists are pumping significantly less money into startups worldwide.

One reason why Saudi-based startups are bucking the global trend: the high level of corporate venturing activity. Many large corporates and government institutions regard innovative and agile startups as cornerstones of their innovation agendas. Spending by corporates into startups (known as corporate venturing) is at a high in the kingdom.

“Our strategic vision revolves around igniting positive change and nurturing a culture of innovation, as we actively shape the future entrepreneurial landscape in Saudi Arabia,” said Ibrahim Seksek, CEO for MENA at Rainmaking. “Collaborating hand in hand with local partners and ambitious entrepreneurs, our mission is to empower and unlock the full potential of Saudi Arabia’s vibrant ecosystem, propelling growth and spearheading an era of impactful ventures.”

Kickstarting its ambitions are two industry-focused programmes for local startups, one focused on fintech and the other on tourism & hospitality. Both will run under the Startupbootcamp brand and are fully aligned with the “ambitious goals of Vision 2030,” said Seksek, who has been overseeing Rainmaking in the MENA region since early 2019.

The fresh studio in Saudi Arabia is the fourth locale for Rainmaking in the Middle East and North Africa. Others are based in Dubai, Doha, and Cairo.