Can Saudi Arabia become the region’s fintech frontrunner?

SectorFinancial Services
CountrySaudi Arabia

When Tamara announced it had raised $110 million for its Series A back in April, it sent a wave of awe across the region. Not only was this the highest Series A round raised by a startup in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), it was also the largest investment ever raised by a Saudi startup. The buy now pay later (BNPL) startup had, within the space of a few months since launch, attracted the ecosystem’s attention to Saudi Arabia and its vast financial technology (fintech) opportunity. 

Once a slow-moving ecosystem, Saudi Arabia has burgeoned into a dynamic landscape for entrepreneurs, offering them greater access to funding and friendlier regulations.

The fintech sector in particular, has grown from just 10 startups registered under the Fintech Saudi initiative in 2018, to a total of 155 in 2020. In the first quarter of this year, fintech startups based in Saudi Arabia raised in excess of $127 million, a whopping jump more...