eWTP Arabia Capital’s second U.S. dollar fund has recently received investment from Jada, the fund of funds arm of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
eWTP Arabia Capital aims to raise US$1 billion for its second fund, with the fundraising expected to close in early 2024. Jada will be the cornerstone LP for this fund.
The new fund will focus on investing in technology and energy companies. The collaboration with Jada is based on eWTP Arabia Capital’s core investment strategy – leveraging technologies, products, and business models that have been proven in Asia to jointly build a technology ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
eWTP Arabia Capital is a technology innovation fund headquartered in Riyadh and Beijing, investing in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Notably, Jada was also the cornerstone investor in the first fund of eWTP Arabia Capital’s fund, which had a scale of US$400 million and has already invested in 18 companies.
The Jada Fund, established with investment from PIF, is an important component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. To shift the Saudi business ecosystem away from state-owned and family businesses, Jada focuses on investing in innovative funds, aiming to lead the Saudi investment ecosystem in supporting the development of local SMEs and start-ups.
By establishing Jada, PIF aims to create more job opportunities, accelerate the diversification of the national economy, enhance the private sector, especially increasing the contribution of Saudi SMEs to the GDP.
Compared to the UAE, the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund (PIF) has been relatively secretive in the past. Although it was established back in the 1970s, it barely made any notable moves.
It was not until recently that PIF began to be active – for instance, investing US$45 billion in the SoftBank Vision Fund, securitizing Aramco oil, acquiring football clubs, investing in many global VC/PE institutions, and leading companies in various industries.
Over the years, PIF has been investing in technology companies and startups. Since 2017, PIF has actively established around 80 companies across 13 industry sectors.
Apart from its traditional focus on real estate, infrastructure, and energy, PIF has been heavily investing in technology, tourism, and entertainment industries – three sectors that were previously not well established in Saudi Arabia. It also owns another venture capital firm, Sanabil.
The PIF director and chairman of the Future Investment Initiative Institute, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, revealed at the first Asian summit of FII in Hong Kong yesterday that PIF will strengthen its ties with Asia and plans to set up offices in mainland China and India in the future.
As of now, PIF has established its first Asian office in Hong Kong in February 2022.
Unlike other established GPs in China that have received funding from the Middle East, eWTP Arabia Capital is relatively young, raising its first U.S. dollar fund in 2020.
eWTP Arabia Capital has invested in the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, a collaboration between Alibaba Cloud and Saudi STC, and Jitu Middle East. They provide not only capital support to their portfolio companies but also on-site expertise and substantial assistance.