The National Technology Development Program (NTDP), Saudi Arabia’s national program aimed at facilitating the country’s transformation into being a global technology hub by 2030, has committed more than US$430 million to six new initiatives aimed at strengthening the Kingdom’s tech ecosystem. The first of these six financial solutions is the Venture Debt initiative, which will see more than $150 million allocated to the expansion and growth of high growth startups in the Kingdom, providing them a flexible debt structure. Targeting companies in the Series A segment of their trajectories, this initiative will be giving 15% of the equity round size. Next is the TechCrew initiative, which aims to support tech SMEs by helping them attract talent with both salary subsidies and by providing them long-term financial incentives.
This program will see $78 million allocated to tech SMEs and local talent, which will provide either 50% of the salary subsidy, or a prolonged financial support of up to 18 months. The third in this series is the Boost initiative, which is designed to build up the experiences of tech entrepreneurs by providing them incubation startup services, and reducing the financial risks of the founders fully dedicating their time to entrepreneurial projects.
NTDP has allocated more than $46 million to this particular initiative, with an aim to provide from $1,900 to $3,600 over the period of 12 months to each individual pursuing an entrepreneurial activity. The Connect initiative comes next, and it will see more than $42 million allocated to helping local tech SMEs to qualify and meet the requirements of large tech projects. It will cover 50% of the cost of the business to reach a proof of concept, which itself will be capped at $200,000. The fifth new program is the Bridge Initiative, which aims to support high growth tech ventures which have more than $100 million in revenue to grow their business globally by providing them multiple financial subsidies to help them expand their business to international markets.
One venture can get a maximum of $1.3 million or the initiative covering 70% of its costs, while the support duration will be capped at a maximum of 24 months. Lastly, the Relocate initiative aims to incentivize global tech startups and multinational companies to relocate to Saudi Arabia, and then to successfully expand and scale within the Kingdom and other markets in the region. There will be a maximum of $1.4 million to support a company in this regard, with up to $235,000 of support for office space, $960,000 for hiring local talent, and an additional $240,000 grant for relocation.