Saudi's LEAP23 announces series of new investments, equalling $580m
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Saudi’s LEAP23 announces series of new investments, equalling $580m

Saudi’s LEAP23 announces series of new investments, equalling $580m

New deals include the launch of a data centre and two dedicated academies for developing technical skills and unearthing homegrown talent

Divsha Bhat

Leap23 has announced a series of new investment and funding programmes designed to accelerate the kingdom’s digital transformation in multiple fields.

The announcements, which equate to $580m and follow more than $9bn of investments revealed earlier this week.

The new investments include the launch of a major new data centre and two dedicated academies to develop the technical skills of homegrown talent and provide them with the tools of the future.

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

Leap23 investments

One of the most prominent announcements was revealed by Ignite – a programme under Saudi’s Digital Content Council – which launched several initiatives, a package of financing programmes, and pioneering private sector partnerships amounting to $170m.

Elsewhere, technology consulting services company Wipro announced investments of $110m to expand its cloud studio service, develop digital healthcare solutions, and support the development of local talent.

Unity, the global games development platform, also announced the establishment of its first regional academy and a centre for developing electronic games – in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) – to create and foster technical talents.

Zoho, an IT, software development and cloud computing company, outlined plans to expand its presence in the kingdom with new office openings and the establishment of a cloud area for its services.

It also confirmed an allocation of $300m over the next 10 years as a portfolio balance to support Saudi startups aiding the country’s digital transformation.

Having entered the data centre arena in 2021, Damac Group announced the expansion of investments in large data centres in the kingdom with a total capacity of more than 55 megawatts.

Finally, Amazon announced the establishment of its first regional academy to develop and train more than 30,000 talents. In addition, the academy will provide more than 35,000 professional certificates in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The academy is part of a national partnership with MCIT that encompasses the Ministry’s Future Skills initiative, affiliated Saudi Digital Academy, Human Capacity Development Programme and Tuwaiq Academy.

Meanwhile, as part of the announcement, Hyther Nizam, president – Middle East and Africa at Zoho Corporation said: “Saudi Arabia remains among our top, fastest-growing markets in the Middle East and Africa region. The ambitious agenda set forth by its leadership is transforming the country into an economic powerhouse and an attractive business environment—with technology being a key component driving these efforts.”

“Over the next year, we aim to continue leading the way in the MEA to make Saudi Arabia our number one market in the region, while allocating necessary resources to help achieve the goals of Vision 2030 by lowering the technology barriers to entry for the business community.”

As part of the investment plans, Zoho will open a new office in Riyadh, in addition to its current office in Jeddah, and continue to hire local employees.

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