LEAP23 announces investments of over $9bn to support future technology and startups
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LEAP23 announces investments of over $9bn to support future technology and startups

LEAP23 announces investments of over $9bn to support future technology and startups

The event is running at Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Centre from today until February 9

Divsha Bhat

Leap23 opened a four-day run in Riyadh on Monday by announcing more than $9bn in investments to support future technologies, digital entrepreneurship, tech startups, and enhance the Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The investments were revealed by Eng Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), during a keynote address at the event which runs at Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Centre until Thursday, February 9.

LEAP23 Investments

Alswaha confirmed the investments included Microsoft’s $2.1bn in a global super-scaler cloud in the kingdom, Oracle investing $1.5bn to expand its MENA business by launching new cloud areas in the kingdom, Huawei’s $400m in cloud infrastructure for its services in the kingdom, and the launch of a Zoom cloud area in the kingdom in partnership with Aramco.

An additional $4.5bn has been invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors, added Alswaha.

Alswaha emphasised that the huge investment packages come with the full support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The investments are part of the Crown Prince’s empowerment of the technology sector, which is one of Saudi’s most promising sectors amid unprecedented growth in the kingdom’s digital economy, internet of things, biological and healthtech, quantitative science, space, satellites, fintech and open sources.

Other major announcements on the first day included Meta launching the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in MENA, WEO Technology and Camel Lab launching Hektar, a multi-content social media app; and MENA Communication and STC launching Beem – a new application for instant messaging, high-quality voice and video calls, and business features.

Taking place alongside Leap and starting Tuesday February 7, the inaugural DeepFest – in partnership with the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) – will gather drivers of the global artificial intelligence eco-system to unveil life-changing, multi-sector initiatives in a thought-leadership conference and sector-specific tracks, trainings, live-demos, startup pitches and an exhibition featuring companies transforming the world we live and work in.

Read: LEAP23: Second edition of technology event opens today in Riyadh

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